Flint’s K-9 officer Edo has made his mark in the community, so much so that a Grand Blanc business is stepping up to sponsor some of his expenses for the upcoming year.
Sonitrol Tri-County announced Wednesday, Jan. 15, the company will be funding Edo’s food, veterinary expenses, as well as necessary training equipment and toys.
The security company has pledged to cover these expenses for the 4-year-old German Shepherd for one year, but it could end up being indefinitely, said Robert DeRosier, Sonitrol’s marketing manager.
“We are basically looking to pseudo-adopt a dog — take care of all of its expenses outside of him actually being cared for by the police department, because they have that close relationship,” DeRosier said. “We’re really just looking to help out.”
DeRosier said Sonitrol became interested in Edo when they saw a Flint Journal article about a neighborhood group trying to raise funds to buy the K-9 officer a bullet proof vest.
“We wanted to keep connecting with the community and it’s really important for us to be connected with the police department because a lot of what we do deals with apprehension, and actually arresting the bad guys breaking into the buildings,” DeRosier said. “So we like to have that close relationship with the department and reward them for their efforts and help them wherever possible and actually reduce crime instead of just prevent it.”
The Flint Police Department hasn’t had K-9s since 2007, when then-mayor Don Williamson eliminated the program due to budget cuts. Flint Police Chief James Tolbert said he was grateful for the support from Sonitrol.
“Obviously we don’t have to worry about these things that they are going to cover,” Tolbert said. “We can focus on improving and hopefully expanding the K-9 core.”
Edo was donated to the Flint Police Department by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Department of Public Safety, located in Manistee.
The dog lives with Flint police officer and K-9 handler John Boismier.
The K-9 officer is certified in human tracking, handler protection, area and article searching and suspect location through the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers. His detection work is in explosives.