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Marysville cops, council acknowledge K9 Heiko as he retires

By Jim Bloch

So long to a good dog.

Officers of the Marysville Police Department and city firefighters joined Mayor Kathy Hayman in front of the city council to wish K9 Heiko a happy retirement after seven years of human service and a half-century of dog service.

The mayor presented the dog with a resolution of appreciation. The police department gave him a Chief’s Citation, retirement certificate and a shadow box of memorabilia. The council voted unanimously to rename the dog park on River Road after Heiko.

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The city acquired Heiko, a German shepherd actually from Germany, in April 2016.

“Heiko began his training with his handler Marysville Police Officer Justin Reeves at the National Association of Profession Canine Handlers facility in Taylor, Michigan,” said Mayor Hayman, reading from the resolution of appreciation for the dog, as heard on the recording of the regular meeting Feb. 13 posted on the city’s website. “Upon certification, Officer Reeves spent thousands of hours and 12-18 months training with Heiko.

“Heiko was trained and certified in narcotics detection, tracking suspects along with missing children and dementia patients, building searches, area searches, evidence collection and handler protection.

“In October 2019, K9 Heiko was entered in Vested Interest in K9, a nationwide competition, in which he received second place and won the Marysville Police Department a 2020 Chevy Tahoe SUV.

“K9 Heiko has over 600 documented K9 deployments and has been utilized by multiple agencies in five counties.

“Effective Jan.21, 2023, K9 Heiko retired from police work where he rendered faithful performance and conducted himself in a most exemplary manner while serving the Marysville Police Department.”

Hayman extended the city’s gratitude to the dog for his seven years of service and “the special contributions he made to promoting the public safety and protecting the lives and property of Maryville residents. Now that Heiko is retired, he can relax with his handler Officer Reeves and enjoy all that life has to offer him.”

Hayman petted Heiko and handed Reeves the resolution.

“That’s a very impressive resume,” said Hayman. “I don’t mean any disrespect to any police office here, but I think he’s the most popular and the most loved.”

The audience applauded.

“I think this is one of the most important things I’ve done since I’ve been elected,” Hayman said.

Ed Gerrow, deputy chief, awarded K9 Heiko with a Chief’s Citation for his service and gave him a shadow box.

“Typically, officers when they retire will take trinkets received throughout their career and put them in an honored shadow box,” said Gerrow. “What we have today is a K9 unit patch from his vest, his name from his collar, his centennial badge with his ribbons, his K9 pin and his MPD badge.”

More applause.

Gerrow presented the dog with a certificate of retirement just like those received by all retiring officers. Inside the large framed certificate was also a uniform shirt worn by handler Reeves embroidered with seven annual service stars.

“Also on the agenda today, and a surprise to Justin and Heiko, upon council’s approval,” said Gerrow, “the city will be naming the city dog park on River Road the K9 Heiko Dog Park in recognition of his commitment to this great city.”

The council approved the renaming by a vote of 7-0.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at

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