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Posted on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

Pittsfield Township trustees to vote on agreement with Ypsilanti police for shared use of K-9 unit

By Kyle Feldscher

The Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees will vote Wednesday night on whether to allow the township’s Public Safety Department to enter an agreement with Ypsilanti police for shared usage of a K-9 unit.

Public Safety Director Matt Harshberger said the department cut its K-9 unit two or three years ago due to budget concerns and hasn’t been able to bring it back since. When police have needed a dog in their investigations, they have been using other departments’ K-9 units on a sort of mutual-aid basis, he said.

The agreement with the Ypsilanti Police Department would have Pittsfield Township be responsible for the vehicle, while the YPD would house the unit, Harshberger said. The K-9 unit would be available for Pittsfield Township police at any time, he said.

“Right now, all we’re kicking in is the vehicle used for the unit, which is a (Chevrolet) Tahoe we had already purchased for patrol,” he said. “We would rededicate it for the K-9 option.”

The Ypsilanti Police Department already has a K-9 unit and would be responsible for the officer’s salary and any costs associated with the dog, Harshberger said.

The Board of Trustees is expected to vote on the agreement at the meeting Wednesday, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at Morris Hall, 6201 W. Michigan Ave.

If trustees vote to approve the agreement, attorneys for both departments will finalize the details before Pittsfield Township can officially begin using the K-9 unit on what amounts to an on-call basis, Harshberger said.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 4:53 a.m.

Instead of a (slap on the wrist and all these plea deals) fine the suspects and get us another K9's.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

This seems like a lose lose situation for both. YPD only have three peopke working the street. If the K9 Officer has to leave to help Pittsfield, then it only leaves two cops on the streets of Ypsilanti. But Pittsfield is paying for a service that they are not always going to get. Sounds like Harshberger is trying to take over another areas police service slowly like he did when he was Ypsilanti, but now he will only be working on taking over Ypsilanti


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

I often hear officers requesting K-9 units on the scanner. This will help make sure that they can supply one more quickly when they need one.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

So am I reading this correctly: One k-9 unit for all of Pittsfield + Ypsilanti?

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

Ypsi township is covered by the sheriff.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

I have no problem with the idea ( I live in the Township so it's a moot point ) but it sounds like Pittsfield is getting the better end of the deal.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Strike my comment.I guess Ypsi is saving money on vehicle costs so its a win win.( I wish there was a edit/delete option )

Common Sense

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

This makes for a very good use of shared resources. I fully support the concept.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Makes perfect sense. I wonder if this is a trial run before more service consolidations?