Bozeman Police Department purchasing new K-9 unit

Retiring K-9 “Roman” and his adoptive officer, Detective Ben King (Left) along with current K-9 “Ivan” and his handler Officer Derek Dyk. (Right)

BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Bozeman City Commission authorized City Manager Jeff Mihelich to sign a purchase agreement for a new police K-9 and training of a new handler.

With recreational marijuana being legal starting January 2022, police departments across the state had the option to apply for a grant to retrain K-9 units trained to detect marijuana.

Detective Captain Dana McNeil said the Bozeman Police Department has already applied for the state grant for a new K-9 which will provide up to $10,000 if awarded and will cover the bulk of the cost of the new dog.

Recently retired K-9 "Roman" was trained on marijuana detection leaving current K-9 "Ivan" to do the "heavy sniffing." The new K-9 unit will be trained in the same ways as Ivan without marijuana detection training.

The $300,000 grant program had to be applied for by Sept. 15 to allow Montana law enforcement agencies train new canine units to crack down on any illegal drugs being trafficked across the state.

Detective Captain McNeil said for the past few decades they prefer having two K-9’s working opposite shifts of each other and the cost of a new dog is more than $10,000 but the price is worth it.

Current officer and handler of K-9 "Ivan" Derek Dyk said the training process is one of the hardest in law enforcement but also the most rewarding.

“It takes a bit to form a bond you know where you start clicking and working together and reading each other, I love this dog is awesome when it gets in the car sees me put the uniform on, we get in the car you know he knows it’s work time and when we get home, he’s another member of the family,” Dyk said.

In the past two years K-9 Ivan has has been deployed over 120 times and conducted 19 tracks while helping seize more than 3,000 grams of cocaine, more than 300 grams of methamphetamine, and more than 55 grams of heroin.

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