The Command Officers Association is a gold level sponsor of our Canine Memorial. Our COA Retiree Rep, F/Lt Loader, coordinated our participation.
The MSP Canine Unit was officially established in 1960 by Tpr. Richard Abott and “Jocko.” After the first year, the department noted the team’s effectiveness and added four more teams. Currently, the department has over 40 canine teams strategically placed throughout the state whose handlers answer calls for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit responds to over 7,000 requests for services annually, making it one of the largest and busiest in the country. Most of the unit’s canines are German Shepherds due to the breed’s ability to handle the various functions and stress with intelligent problem-solving abilities and a high work drive.
Tragically, we have lost three of our canine partners in the line of duty with the most recent being “Rex” on July 25, 2021. To honor the memory of these canine heroes, a memorial to these special partners was created at the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. This memorial will be adjacent to the MSP Fallen Trooper Memorial and will ensure that our fallen canines are never forgotten.