The City’s Canine Unit will comprise of Sergeant Joseph Meier, Officer Michael Hodakoski, and Canine Officer Mase. Mase, an 18-month-old Belgian Malinois, is named after Officer Mason Samborski, one of the City’s fallen officers who died in the line of duty on December 28, 2008 while serving and protecting the Oak Park Community. Officer Samborski’s nine-year-old daughter Madeline Samborski and Stephen Hohauser, a five-year-old boy who warms the hearts of many canine handlers across the globe and who has an extraordinary love of law enforcement will be on hand to symbolically hand Canine Officer Mase his badge and officially announce the launch of the City’s new patrol unit.
(City of Oak Park, Aug. 18, 2017)
Oak Park, Michigan – The City of Oak Park is hosting a Canine Badge Ceremony, a symbolic launch of the City’s first Canine Unit by welcoming Canine Officer Mase, the newest member of the Public Safety Department. The ceremony will take place on Monday, August 21 at 7 p.m. at City Hall during the beginning of the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting.
“We are delighted to welcome the first Canine Unit to the City,” said Mayor Marian McClellan. “A canine officer’s responsibilities are those of a general police officer, carried out by a specially trained police dog.” Canine Officer Mase will assist with community and educational demonstrations, evidence recovery, track and search, and drug enforcement. In addition, he and handler Officer Hodakoski will be called upon, on demand, for the City of Oak Park and for back-up in surrounding jurisdictions when specialized skills are required.
“The Public Safety Department responds to over 15,000 service calls and makes over 8,000 traffic stops per year,” states City Manager Erik Tungate. “There have been times that we’ve called neighboring agencies for canine assistance and sometimes their canine units were either unavailable or delayed. The addition of a Canine Unit to the City of Oak Park provides an enhanced level of efficiency and expertise.”
“The value a canine officer brings to a Public Safety team is invaluable,” said Public Safety Director Steve Cooper. “Their keen sense of smell, enhanced ability to hear, tenacity and endurance bring an added level of expertise to our team that we hope will not only reduce search times and increase efficiency, but aide significantly in officer safety.” Canine dogs are often called upon to be the first to enter a building before officers are sent in. They are unwavering in their ability to tackle and hold a suspect. The nature of their trained temperament can be a deterrent to those who may think of fleeing, harming others or committing a crime. Yet, their disciplined demeanor make them excellent community ambassadors.
Canine Handler Officer Hodakoski and Officer Mase recently graduated an extensive six-week training program at Vohn Liche Kennels, a full-service canine training facility for highly trained police service handlers and police dogs. The facility is known as one of the largest dog training programs in North America that specializes in training police and military service dogs for over 5,000 law enforcement and government agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, Secret Services, the State Department, the White House, and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
About the Oak Park Public Safety Department: The City of Oak Park Public Safety Department is one of the first in the nation to combine police, fire and medical first response. Our officers are trained and perform in all three disciplines. The Department takes great pride in utilizing conventional and non-conventional avenues in its quest to protect and serve the members of the community, including programs such as the Citizens Academy, Ice Cream Patrol, Community Block Club and School Programs. We take great pride in, and enjoy, a long-standing, supportive and mutually respectful relationship with our community members.
About Oak Park: The City of Oak Park is situated on the southern-most border of Oakland County, Mich., and serves as a suburban ambassador to Detroit. Incorporated as a city in 1945, Oak Park’s current population exceeds 29,300 and is home to more than 900 local businesses, including corporate headquarters.
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Please join us at Monday’s Oak Park City Council meeting to celebrate this new milestone for the City and meet the new Canine Unit, including Mase.
What: Canine Badge Ceremony and Launch of the City’s First Canine Unit
When: Monday, August 21, at 7 p.m.
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, City of Oak Park, 14000 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park,
Details: Light refreshments and finger foods will be available before the meeting and
after the ceremony. The Public Safety leadership team and the Canine Unit will be available after the ceremony for pictures and interviews.