In September of 2016, the Big Lake Police Department committed to moving forward with a Canine Program. At this time a fundraising effort was undertaken, with a goal of reaching $51,250 for the acquisition of a police canine, training, vehicle, and equipment. We had an unbelievable response to this effort, generating more than our target budget in less than 3 months.
- View all donations made to the Police Department Canine Program Webpage.
The desire to move forward with this valuable program was driven by a number of factors including;
Our region, and state for that matter, are seeing a dramatic increase in the use and possession of narcotics such as methamphetamine and heroin. Having these activities occurring in our community can quickly erode neighborhoods, and quality of life for our residents. A police canine is highly effective at locating narcotics where officers cannot. Research has also shown their mere presence to have a deterrent effect.
Missing and Vulnerable Person
Calls for service continue to increase for instances of mental health and vulnerable persons. Often times this entail searching, a process which is greatly accelerated with use the of a police canine dramatically improving success rates.
A police canine provides a high level of officer safety, allowing searches to take place for dangerous individuals which would normally be undertaken by an officer. They also provide a safety layer when dealing with crowds and persons who are potentially dangerous or have intentions of fleeing.
A police canine is the ultimate ambassador to a police department, they are the star of the show at any gathering which they attend, and form an outstanding bridge to the department with our community.
Sergeant Matthew Hayen has been selected as our canine handler. Our new four legged officer is Bruno, a German Shepard who arrived from the Slovakia Republic (Europe) in November and resides with Sergeant Hayen and his family. Bruno was named by the Hayen Family, the name Bruno is a Germanic Word meaning "shield or armor." Sergeant Hayen and Bruno attended Narcotic Detection Training with Performance Kennels for 4 weeks graduating in February. Following their narcotics training, our canine team competed in Narcotic Detection Trials in West Fargo ND, completing their certification and taking 2nd place in vehicle searches from among 40 other teams. Sergeant Hayen and Bruno are currently attending Patrol Dog School for 12 weeks through Performance Kennels, they will graduate May 29 of 2017 and hit the streets at that time.
We want to recognize our partnering businesses, and organizations who have donated generously to this critical project, please see sidebars for details. We will update these on a frequent basis! If you have any direct questions about our Canine Program, please email Sergeant Hayen.