The Bay City Department of Public Safety established its Canine Unit in November 2020. The BCDPS Canine Unit consists of K9 Loki and his handler, Corporal Paul Cairns. K9 Loki is trained to find drugs, search for articles (guns, knives, etc.), and track people. They became certified by the American Working Dog Association and are on-call 24/7.
Part of their job is to also connect with the community. Corporal Cairns and K9 Loki have been part of National Night Out, the Youth Leadership Academy, and many other events. “Loki has been a great ice breaker so-to-speak. I’ve noticed people are willing to share a lot more than they would if it’s just me,” Corporal Cairns said. “Once people see past how intimidating he looks on the surface – they realize he’s quite loveable.” When on-task his focus is intense; but when Loki is at a community event, he’s perfectly content being petted, posing for pictures, and eating treats.
While Corporal Cairns and K9 Loki enjoy events, Loki is happiest when he’s working. As a police canine, Loki is driven to serve and the only thing he wants in return is to enjoy a tennis ball. After a successful track or search, K9 Loki is treated with a tennis ball. Corporal Cairns also rewards him during training, which is something they do quite often. “We train every shift. There’s never a day that we don’t do a track, an article search, or sniff for hidden drugs. This keeps both of us sharp and helps with Loki’s ‘drive’ to work,” he explained.
The BCDPS Canine Unit receives donations from K9 Hero Guardians, formerly known as the Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association (SVPCA). K9 Hero Guardians provides assistance to law enforcement agencies by covering the costs for a police dog including training, medical expenses, dog food, equipment, car inserts, carriers, leads, harnesses, heat alarms, and other costs associated with a Canine Unit.