Donor’s gift supports local K9 policing

Roger Erickson donated $2,000 to the Clay County Sheriff’s Department to purchase a custom-made protective vest for K9 Goose. From left: Lt. Josh Schroeder, Sheriff Mark Empting, Erickson, K9 handler Sam Grandbois and K9 Goose.

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

Canine policing in Moorhead and Clay County has gotten a big boost from contributions by Roger Erickson, owner of the Farmstead Living complex in south Moorhead.

Clay County’s K9 officer Goose, who joined the Sheriff’s Department in January, is getting a custom-made bullet-proof and stab-resistant vest, thanks to Erickson’s $2,000 gift. Goose, a German shepherd-Malinois mix, partners with Clay County Deputy Mark Grandbois.

The Moorhead Police Department will be getting a new police dog, thanks to Erickson. “I asked whether they needed vests,” he says. “They said their dogs had what they needed – but they were looking for a whole dog.”

K9 Argo, the older of the department’s two dogs, is approaching retirement. The German shepherd, who was born in Slovakia and trained at Performance Kennels in Buffalo, Minnesota, has partnered with Officer Mike Fildes since 2013. He is nearing the end of his career, since police canines typically serve from seven to nine years in the field.

His replacement has been on the city’s “wish list” since formation of the Moorhead Community Fund last year. Erickson’s gift will cover the whole cost of purchasing and training the new dog. “When he joins the force, I’ll be buying him his own bullet-proof vest,” he added.

“This is our way to support local law enforcement and our first responders,” Erickson said. “It’s something I believe in deeply.”

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