An officer with a wet nose, fluffy ears and wagging tail will soon patrol the streets with the Argentine Township Police Department.
Trinity, a male 1½-year-old Czech shepherd, joined the department last week, but Police Chief Daniel Allen said they had her claimed in September. They bought her from the same breeder in Tennessee who sold them Sirius, a K9 who previously patrolled Argentine streets with Det. Sgt. Doug Fulton.
A $9,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, along with donations from residents, allowed the department to buy Trinity and pay for training.
Officer Tony Matthews will be Trinity’s handler.
Matthews and Trinity will go to the Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (C.R.E.S.T.) center at Oakland University, where Trinity will learn drug detection and tracking, which involves finding missing persons and suspects. Training starts Monday, Oct. 14 and he’ll be certified after six weeks.
The department previously had Felony, which is officer Scott Conner’s dog. Conner left his part-time position with Argentine Township and accepted a full-time position in Chesaning. Conner remains a member of the Argentine Township Board of Trustees.
Allen still wanted to make sure the department had a K9 unit. Since Matthews is full-time, Trinity will be as well.
“It’s going to help all of Genesee County,” Allen said, adding that they won’t have to call another police department with a K9 unit when needed. “We’ll be able to assist Fenton and Linden and other municipalities as well.”
However, like with the marine patrol, the department will need continuous funding. Allen said they’re able to get reduced costs from veterinarian Michael Fleming at Cross Veterinary Clinic in Grand Blanc.
“He agreed to help us with the program. He’s really excited about it,” he said.
Those wishing to help Trinity and the K9 unit can vote to nominate the Argentine Township Police Department in the Aftermath Services K9 grant competition. This company provides biohazard cleaning services after a crime, such as a shooting. They will award $16,500 total in grants this year.
“They’re an excellent company,” Allen said.
The department first needs to be nominated. Go to aftermath.com/k9-grant and fill out the form. Entering nominees will be open until Friday, Oct. 18, and nominees will be announced Oct. 23, when official voting will begin. It closes Nov. 3.