June 24, 2016

Canine Connections

Saginaw Police K9 Units provide vital public safety functions

K9-blog-picBack in 2010, illegal drug use began to skyrocket in the community of Standish, especially in the high school. With an immediate need to eradicate this growing problem, Arenac County resident Jody Wilk began to take steps to reinstate a K9 unit for the Sherriff’s Department.


“The community had been without a K9 officer for 10 years due to lack of funding,” said Jody.


Jody led fundraising efforts over the next year and thanks to many donors, a new K9 unit was installed. Shortly after, Jody’s work was noticed by Saginaw Police K9 Officer Doug Stacer.


The City of Saginaw was in danger of losing its K9 unit permanently due to budget cuts. Officer Stacer was confident that Jody’s success in Arenac County could be replicated in Saginaw. Through her efforts and partnership with Saginaw Community Foundation, the K9 units were preserved.


Saginaw Community Foundation acts as a fiscal sponsor for Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association (SVPCA), allowing SVPCA to operate under SCF’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation.


“It gives legitimacy to our organization in the eyes of the public. SCF has a great reputation in the community and that has definitely had a positive impact on our fundraising abilities.”



A grant awarded by SCF in 2015 was originally going to be for only one dog. Jody was able to secure food donations from Wysong Pet Food in Midland and upon learning of the donation, Saginaw Police Chief Bob Ruth authorized the pursuit of two new dogs.


“After getting the approval to seek two dogs from Chief Ruth, I really had to scramble. I only had one week in which to write the grant to meet the deadline at SCF.”


The K9 units are a vital part of the Saginaw Police Department.


“The two things criminals fear the most are Tasers and dogs,” said Jody. “There are so many instances where the presence of a K9 officer has led to an apprehension or has quickly defused a tense situation.”



Learn more

Visit the Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association website.

Download a PDF of Community Threads – Saginaw Community Foundation 2015 Annual Report