October 25, 2013

Rookie and friends put on a special show

Rookie and friends put on a special show

From Saginaw Community Foundation’s 1999 Annual Report

Saginaw Police Officer Joaquin Guerrero and Rookie, his police dog, have a message for area school children: don’t mess with drugs. Together, they travel to area schools and churches using skits and songs to deliver their anti-drug and anti-violence message in a unique program called Precinct 131.


“Precinct 131 is a substance abuse prevention program for pre-school to fifth grade,” said Guerrero . Last year, 7,200 school children watched as Officer Guerrero , Rookie and their puppet patrol partners battled against tobacco, gangs, guns and drugs.


Always at center stage is Rookie, Guerrero ’s real-life canine partner. Children really connect with Rookie and, according to Guerrero , Rookie thoroughly enjoys the spotlight, “He’s a big ham, and some of the things he does are so funny.”


A $5,000 grant from the King Family Fund and the YWCA Fund for Women and Girls helped purchase lighting and sound equipment for the Precinct 131 program. “The special effects really help make an impact,” said Guerrero who had to rely on borrowed equipment before receiving the grant.


Rookie’s popularity and success for reaching the kids is also receiving national attention. Because of the success of the Precinct 131 program, Puppet Production, maker of McGruff the Crime Dog, has now created a puppet modeled after Rookie and is marketing it to police agencies nationwide.