MSP Unveils Monument to K-9s Killed in the Line of Duty

Photo via Michigan State Police

By Karel Vega

August 17, 2023

Aiko, Bane, Eli, Max, Beck, and Rex.

These are the names of the six Michigan State Police canines killed in the line of duty whose sacrifice is honored on a monument unveiled this month.

The new monument is located on the lawn of the MSP Training Academy in Dimondale, alongside the Fallen Trooper Memorial.

The memorial, fully funded through donations, features a statue of a police dog, along with the words of the poem “The Working Dog.”

My eyes are your eyes,
to watch and protect you and yours.

My ears are your ears,
to hear and detect evil minds in the dark.

My nose is your nose,
to scent the invader of your domain.

And so you may live,
my life is also yours.

The MSP Canine Unit was established in 1960 and currently has 43 canine teams. The unit handles more than 7,000 requests for services annually.

“Our canines, and the work they perform, are critical to creating a Michigan where everyone feels safe and secure,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “These six canines were true partners to their handlers and beloved members of the MSP. With the unveiling of this memorial, we finally have a fitting and permanent location to remember their contributions to policing and the communities we call home.”


  • Karel Vega

    Coming from a long background in public radio, Karel Vega strives to find stories that inform and inspire local communities. Before joining The ‘Gander, Karel served as managing editor at WKAR, the NPR affiliate in East Lansing, Michigan.

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