Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit visits Bear Lake Schools

MANISTEE — Manistee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer Brandon Gillispie and his partner Beno were loving every minute of their visit to Bear Lake Schools on Wednesday afternoon.

Manistee County Sheriff's K-9 officer Brandon Gillispie and his partner Beno meet with lower elementary school students from Bear Lake Schools on Wednesday to describe what they do on the job.

Manistee County Sheriff’s K-9 officer Brandon Gillispie and his partner Beno meet with lower elementary school students from Bear Lake Schools on Wednesday to describe what they do on the job.

A group of wide eyed lower elementary students got a good lesson on what a K-9 unit does on the job. More importantly they had the opportunity to get up close and personal to Beno and have some interaction with one of the newest members of the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office.

Gillispie said he loves to bring Beno in to show students.

“I have been waiting about 12 years to get a K-9 position and it is the best part of my job,” he said. “It is really good for public relations of all ages as everybody loves dogs and animals. So it gets people coming up to us in a positive situation and to learn more about law enforcement.”

Students asked lots of questions about Beno and how he is used on the job. Gillispie also told the students how Beno is 2 years old and was trained in Poland where he was given his name.

They also got the opportunity to pet him and see his badge. Gillispie also told the students how Beno has also been used in some narcotics arrests in Manistee County.

Bear Lake first grade teacher Ann Edmondson said the opportunity to see Beno came about from a visit last spring from her brother, Manistee County Sheriff John O’Hagan.

“He was in our classroom last year for reading month and he read the book ‘Officer Buckle’ and he had a dog, so he promised to come back with the new K-9 puppy to show them when they got it,” said Edmondson. “It is an amazing learning experience, so we are very thankful the sheriff gave us this opportunity.”

Bear Lake Schools second grade teacher Hope Higley said she felt it was great for the students.

“This is wonderful to see how well we are protected and use animals in the community to keep us safe,” she said.

Principal Sarah Harless said having programs like the K-9 unit come into the school to talk to the students is a great learning experience.

“We are very lucky to be able to always partner with the agencies in the community and they are always ready to show our kids they are the good guys,” said Harless. “It shows the kids they keep them safe and how animals are part of that process.”

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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