K-9 is new best friend to sheriff’s office.

November 6, 2017

Krieger with his handler, Sgt. Cam Hanson (center) and Undersheriff Ryan Schiller (left) and Sheriff Craig Mast.

K-9 is new best friend to sheriff’s office.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — Many have heard the phrase, “There’s a new sheriff in town.” Well, in Oceana County, there’s a new sheriff dog in town.

His name is Krieger, and he’s a 17-month-old black German Shepard who has joined the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office as a K-9 deputy. Krieger works faithfully with his trainer, Sgt. Cam Hanson.


Krieger began duties, June, 20, and the sheriff’s office officially unveiled him to local media Monday, Nov. 6. He even wears a badge like his human colleagues.

Then-sheriff-candidate Craig Mast told voters in 2016 that he wanted to have an active K-9 program back in Oceana County if elected, and he lived up to his campaign promise. Just one year after being elected sheriff, Mast unveiled the first K-9 on Oceana’s department in nearly 10 years.

The friendly Krieger, which translates to “warrior” in German, was born in Germany and even has a pet passport to prove it. He was flown over to the US, and the sheriff’s office bought him from a kennel in Ohio, Hanson said.

“He likes people, he’s friendly,” Hanson said of his partner. “He interacts well with kids and other dogs.” The pair underwent intense training over the summer at the K-9 Academy in Taylor, Michigan.

The 70-pound Krieger comes from a good blood line, said Hanson. “The dog is really smart.” And, he has a nose for sniffing out crime. “He smells in the parts per trillion,” the K-9 handler said.

Mast said he is thankful for the community’s “overwhelming support” to get a K-9 back in service in Oceana County. “Peterson Farms was a major contributor to bringing a dog to Oceana County,” he said.

A campaign funding began with the Newman Church near Ferry hosting a soup supper. From there, many other local businesses and individuals chipped in with fundraising events, including the United Methodist Church in Mears and the Colonial Golf Course in Hart.

“Often times if deputies had a need for a K-9 in Oceana County, we would have to wait over an hour for a dog to come from a neighboring county or further,” Mast stated.

Hanson has been with the sheriff’s office since 2009 and worked for the Fremont Police Department before that. He’s a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology. He is also on the sheriff’s office dive and tactical teams.

Hanson and Krieger officially graduated from the K-9 Academy Training Facility and earned certifications in police patrol dog, narcotic detection, obedience, article search, area search, tracking and building search by the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers (NAPCH). NAPCH is a well-known organization that certifies dogs to be working police dogs in Michigan and across the US.

“Sgt. Hanson and Krieger are on patrol every day together,” Mast said. “When their shift is over, Krieger goes home with Sgt. Hanson.” Hanson said Krieger gets along great with his children and dog. He recently brought Krieger to Walkerville Public Schools, and he said Krieger was being petted by eight kids at once.

“He follows him around like glue,” said Undersheriff Ryan Schiller of their close friendship and working relationship.

Krieger had great success with his first track about a month ago. The dog tracked a suspect over a half of a mile and found him hiding behind a bush, Hanson said. “‘Your dog was right on me,'” he said the suspect told him.

“Krieger has been very successful so far in his short career at OCSO,” said Mast. “Krieger has been able to locate and find three suspects that have fled from police on different occasions.”

“Those successful tracks build this guy’s confidence,” Hanson said.

“Krieger seems to have a really good nose so far, and we are excited to see him continue to improve his skills as he becomes more mature. Krieger is still a puppy, but he has already fit in at the sheriff’s office with his very own kennel in the break room,” Mast said.

Mast said he would like to extend his sincere gratitude to the citizens and businesses of Oceana County. “Without their support, the goal of starting a K-9 program in Oceana County would not have occurred as soon, if at all. We hope that Krieger will be able to pay it forward in search and rescues and other community service needs. Thank you, Oceana County!”

Sgt. Cam Hanson, Krieger, Undersheriff Ryan Schiller and Sheriff Craig Mast with staff from Peterson Farms, which was a major contributor to launching the K-9 program. The Peterson employees include, left to right, Sarah Schlukebir, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer; Dora Botello, Senior Quality Supervisor Designee; Nick Smith, Plant Manager; Brian Swisher, Senior Plant Manager; Carmen Walsworth, Senior Quality Assurance Clerk Designate; and
Paula McGarry, Quality Manager.

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