The K-9 Unit is part of the Field Services Division. Deputy Ian Pegan-Naylor with partner Janke, Deputy Mike Gray with partner Dex, and Deputy Matt Jerome with partner Jax 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.
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 and Jax. They can search for illegal drugs on traffic stops, drug raids, prison searches, and any other place where drugs can be hidden. All 3 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, Deputy Matt Jerome, and Deputy Ian Pegan-Naylor, all of which 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 Matt Jerome
Jax is a narcotics and tracking dog imported from the country of Poland. He was born in June 2013. He officially started his career with the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office in 2014, and is assigned to Deputy Matt Jerome. Jax lives with Deputy Jerome and his family. They are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. The purchase of Jax was made possible by a donation from the Art and Mary Schmuckal Family Foundation.
Deputy Mike Gray
Dex is a male German Sheperd who was born on January 2, 2015. 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. Dex is assigned to K-9 handler Deputy Mike Gray. The purchase of Dex was made possible by a donation from the Les and Anne Biederman Foundation.
Retired Handlers & K-9s
Sgt. Roy Strait
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.
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.