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K-9 Unit

K-9 Structure

The K-9 Unit is part of the Field Service Division. Deputy Derek Morton with partner Janusz, Deputy Travis Horn with partner Hess, and Deputy Matt Jerome with partner Yogi 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 Janusz is used to search for explosives in a wide variety of circumstances. Narcotics detection is assigned to K-9 Hess and Yogi. They can search for illegal drugs on traffic stops, drug raids, prison searches, and any other place where drugs can be hidden. All three 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 nine dogs with three currently in service.

Current Handlers

The current handlers are Deputy Travis Horn, 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. Details are below on the current handlers and their dogs.

Deputy Pegan-Naylor
K-9 Name: Janke
Pegan-Naylor  Janke_2 Janke is a explosive detection and patrol K-9. He is a 2 year old male, black & 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.
Deputy Matt Jerome
K-9 Name: Jax  
Matt Jerome Jax 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. Jax loves going to work every day protecting the citizens of Grand Traverse County. He always gives his best and enjoys the job he is asked to do.
Deputy Travis Horn
K-9 Name: Hess
Travis Horn_2 Hess_2 Hess was born in Poland on November 15, 2006.  Hess is a 60lb. black and tan German Shepherd with Czech bloodlines.  He is assigned to Deputy Travis Horn.  Hess specializes in finding people and illegal narcotics.  He is very social and energetic with a very high drive.  He is ready to assist the citizens of Grand Traverse County 24/7.  Hess's Motto: "If you have drugs, I will find them!  If you run, I will find you!"

Retired Handlers and K-9's

Handler: Sgt. Roy Strait 
k-9 Name: Luger I

Strait pic

Sergeant Roy Strait had three 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 was the second handler. His dog-handling career spanned from 1986 thru 2002. Deputy Alford handled three dogs, "Mutz", "Ewan", and "Erro". All of Deputy Alford’s K-9 partners were used for dual-purpose narcotics detection.                  

Deputy Mark Alford
K-9 Name: Erro 
Oct.99 thru Aug. 02
K-9 Name: Ewan 
Sept.92 thru July 99
Mark Alford Erro K-9 Ewan K-9

Deputy Mark Depew
K-9 Name: Jesco
2002 thru 2008
Deputy Depew Jesco Deputy Mark Depew was assigned Jesco. Jesco's narcotic/tracking career was from 2002 thru 2008.

                                    Community Activities

If you would like to contact the department for more information reference our K-9 Program or to schedule a presentation, please call Captain Tom Emerson at 231-995-5004.

Click here to view our K-9 trading cards.