Michigan State police add 12 new canine teams

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) -- After 560 hours and 14 weeks of training, 12 new canine teams are added to the state roster. It's not just a journey for the dogs, but for their partners as well.

"What's unique about our school is the trooper learns how to train their dog, so we have what we call a green dog and a green handler, a dog that's never been trained in police work and a handler that's never trained a police dog," Sergeant Dave Yount said.

To be a handler, you must first be a trooper. The handler is the one who gives the dog instructions.

"We find we get a better end product. The problem solving is much better in the long run and the success rate goes up," he added.

Michigan State Police have come a long way since 1960 when they only had one canine team, but this class that just graduated is making it the largest basic canine school in Michigan State Police history.

The last basic school graduated in December 2015.

They are trained in obedience and aggression to defend themselves and also to stop people if they are fleeing before they graduate.

Sergeant Yount said this is going to help with cutting down the drug flow in the communities.