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Berrien County deputy, K9 win award from North American Police Work Dog Association

K9 Blek with NAPWDA Exceptional Service Award Medal.jpg
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 12:30:18-04

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Deputy Brandon Crosby and K9 Blek (pronounced “blue”) from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office received an Exceptional Service Award from the North American Police Work Dog Association at its National Workshop in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Deputy Crosby and K9 Blek with Medal.jpg

The award was a result of their actions during an incident on March 25, 2020, involving a suspect wanted out of Portage, according to a news release Wednesday.

The 29-year-old suspect was believed to be armed and dangerous while traveling with his 1-year-old daughter in a vehicle.

He was involved in a police chase in Van Buren County before entering Berrien County. Because the child was in the vehicle, the vehicle wasn’t pursued in Berrien County.

Deputies saw the vehicle traveling on Pipestone Road near Britain Avenue in Benton Harbor and later found it abandoned near the intersection of East Main and Butternut Street in Benton Charter Township.

A perimeter was set up and Crosby and K9 Blek began a track of the wanted man.

He was found hiding behind a shed in the 1200 block of Vincent Court.

K9 Blek apprehended the man by biting him in the arm.

The child was also found behind the shed, unharmed.

Deputies later recovered a gun near where the suspect vehicle was abandoned.

No one was seriously injured during the incident, the sheriff’s office said, though both the wanted man and his daughter were treated at Spectrum Health Lakeland.

The daughter was returned to her mother.