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‘He’s going to be one of my best friends:’ K-9 joins Newaygo Co. Sheriff’s Office

Si the new Newaygo K9 pic 3.jpg
Si the new Newaygo K9 pic 1.JPG
Posted at 7:27 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 19:55:56-04

NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. — As soon as Newaygo County Sheriff's deputy Jason Fritsma saw Si last Wednesday, he knew immediately that was the dog for him.

“When I saw him come out I was like ‘Yeah, that’s the one I want,” Fritsma said.

So, he brought the 2-year-old German Shepherd home with him, from Indiana to Newaygo County, and he knew exactly what to name him.

“My grandpa and I were extremely close. He helped raise me as a little kid,” Fritsma said. “He passed away in 2019. His middle name was Simon. So, I named my dog Si after my grandpa so I can have a little piece of grandpa with me at work all day.”

Si, who was born in Slovakia, is now his new partner at the department.

“I’m ecstatic,” Fritsma said during an interview with FOX 17 on Monday afternoon. “I’m super excited. I know it’s going to be a lot of work. A lot of work pays off. It’ll be a good outcome.”

For the next eight weeks, Si and Fritsma will be working side-by-side at a K9 training school. The first few weeks will be in Muskegon and it’ll finish up in Grand Rapids.

“We’ll go through obedience and tracking and you know narcotics,” Fristma said. “Once we’re done with that, he’ll be certified and be able to work throughout tracking, go on tracks and search for narcotics.”

Fritsma said he’ll be able to sniff out methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and MDMA or Molly.

Si cost $9,000 and the training was thousands more than that, said Sgt. Bailey who was present for the interview as well. The department fund-raised to get Si and he said he’s worth every penny.

Fritsma agreed.

“It’s an expensive piece of equipment really. It’s a great tool,” Fritsma said. “Not only is he going to be a tool, he’s going to be one of my best friends. I get to go to work with him everyday.”