Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

April 14, 2014

Leelanau sheriff’s department adds four-legged officer

SUTTONS BAY — Steve Morgan knows first-hand the value of a good police dog.

So one of his first moves as Leelanau County’s new undersheriff in 2013 was to suggest that the department acquire its first K-9.

“I knew all along that Leelanau County never had a dog,” said Morgan, a former K-9 handler with the Traverse City Police. “Way back when I had mine, I was coming up here to help them all the time. I knew they were a great tool for law enforcement and how valuable they can be. They have only one focus and that’s to please a handler and to do a job.”

Now Nico, a German shepherd trained to “detect and protect,” aims to please Leelanau County sheriff’s deputy and K-9 handler Greg Hornkohl. The 2-year-old, 80-pound dog joined the department in mid-December and already has been deployed about a dozen times.

“He’s a phenomenal drug dog,” said Morgan, Hornkohl’s supervisor. “We had a guy in January that was kind of out of his mind, refusing to give up a couple of knives, and (Nico) was there, making his presence known. He helped the tribe track a burglary suspect. And he’s out there a lot in the community.”

Nico’s route to northern Michigan began with a $15,000 grant from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians for a dog, training and equipment. Then sheriff’s officials turned to Mike Morgan (no relation to Steve Morgan) of Mid-Michigan Kennels, an Eaton Rapids facility that provides trained police dogs.

“What we wanted was a dog that was good at the all-over work that a police dog does, but also a highly social dog that a kid could go up and pull his ears,” Steve Morgan said.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted