The K-9 Unit is part of the Field Services Division. Deputy Ian Pegan-Naylor with partner Janke and Deputy Mike Gray with partner Dex are currently assigned as K-9 officers. Our K-9 units are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to serve the needs of the citizens and visitors of Grand Traverse County. We are currently in the process of acquiring a third K-9 to replace the recent retirement of K-9 Jax and his handler Matt Jerome.
Function of K-9 Units
With over 400 calls for service a year, the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office K-9 units are one of the busiest in the State. All three dogs are trained to track and apprehend criminal suspects, locate lost or missing persons, conduct building searches, and can locate stolen property or articles discarded by criminal suspects. Along with these functions each is also trained as a detection dog. Our explosive detection dog, Janke, is used to search for explosives in a wide variety of circumstances. Narcotics detection is assigned to K-9 Dex. He can search for illegal drugs on traffic stops, drug raids, prison searches, and any other place where drugs can be hidden. Our dogs have had hundreds of hours of continuing in-service training.
History of K-9 Program
The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's office Canine Unit has had a long and distinguished history that dates back to the 1960's when Sergeant Roy Strait and his partner "Luger" became the first to serve the department. After a very successful career, the department realized what an asset a good K-9 team could be to the department. Since the first team went into service the Sheriff's Office has had a total of 9 dogs with 3 currently in service.
The current handlers are Deputy Mike Gray and Deputy Ian Pegan-Naylor, both are working to provide a continuum of excellence that has been a standard in Grand Traverse County since the beginning of the K-9 program.
Janke is a explosive detection and patrol K-9. He is a 2-year-old male, black and tan German Shepherd. He was born in Poland and was purchased from Mid-Michigan Kennels in Eaton Rapids Michigan. Janke lives with Deputy Pegan-Naylor and his family. Janke was originally assigned to Deputy Morton (Retired) when he first joined our agency. The purchase of Janke was made possible by a donation from the Oleson Foundation.
Deputy Mike Gray
Cade is a 1 year old American born male German Shepherd. He is a dual purpose K-9 specializing in narcotics and tracking. He is ready to assist the citizens of Grand Traverse County 24/7. Cade is assigned to K-9 handler Deputy Mike Gray. The purchase of Cade was made possible by a donation from the Les and Anne Biederman Foundation.
Sergeant Roy Strait had 3 K-9 partners "Luger I" (shown in picture),
"Luger II," and "Gunner" spanning his career from 1966-1986. All the
dogs were used for tracking purposes.
Deputy Mark Alford
Deputy Mark Alford was the 2nd handler. His dog-handling career
spanned from 1986 through 2002. Deputy Alford handled 3 dogs, "Mutz,"
"Ewan" (October 1999 through August 2002), and "Erro" (September 1992 through 1999). All of Deputy Alford’s K-9 partners were used for
dual-purpose narcotics detection.
Deputy Mark Depew was assigned Jesco. Jesco's narcotic/tracking career was from 2002 through 2008.
Deputy Matt Jerome
Deputy Matt Jerome was assigned to Jax, a narcotics and tracking dog imported from the country of Poland. They served GTSO as a team from 2014 to 2019. The purchase of Jax was made possible by a donation from the Art and Mary Schmuckal Family Foundation.
If you would like to contact the department for more information in reference to our K-9 Program, or to schedule a presentation, please call Lieutenant Brian Giddis at 231-995-5004.