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Grass Valley to research hiring police dog

Nevada City Police Officer Michael "Scott" Goin (left) and Canine Rudiger attended Grass Valley's council meeting Tuesday to discuss the benefits of having a dog on the police force.
Matthew Pera / mpera@theunion.com |

The Grass Valley Police Department may soon add a new member to its force — but it’s not someone you might expect.

On Tuesday, city council members gave an “okay” to staff to begin researching the process of acquiring a police canine.

The process could take months, and would require further approval from the council when the cost and details are available. But Police Chief Alex Gammelgard said a police dog could bring huge benefits to the force. Not only could a canine help increase officer safety, but it could also be a tool for community engagement, he said.



Nevada City Police Officer Michael “Scott” Goin attended Tuesday’s council meeting to discuss his experience working with canine Rudiger, who he said is an essential member of his department. Goin is Rudiger’s dedicated handler.

He said having a dog along on patrol changes the tone for officers out in the field.




“Since I’ve had Rudiger, I’ve yet to have anybody resist arrest with me,” Goin said.

Gammelgard said a police dog can do many things that an officer can’t, including sniffing out narcotics and searching buildings. He said a dog would be particularly helpful when searching a large building, such as Hills Flat Lumber in Grass Valley, in the event of a criminal investigation.

“This is a perfect opportunity to bring this forward, especially with the concern that the community has for the level of crime that’s happening in our area,” said Council Member Jan Arbuckle. “This is a perfect time to research and see if it’s something that is viable for Grass Valley.”

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.


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