The Command Officers Association is a gold level sponsor of our Canine Memorial. Our COA Retiree Rep, F/Lt Loader, is coordinating our participation. Learn more on opportunities to donate from the Action Center.
The Michigan State Police (MSP) has served the citizens of Michigan with excellence and integrity since 1917. During 104 years of service, we have not only built up our department to its current number of approximately 1915 enlisted and 1060 civilian members, but we also have a very strong and robust Special Operations Division consisting of many specialty units, including a Canine Unit.
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 45 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, we are now planning to place a memorial to these special partners 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.