ALLENDALE, Mich. — Grand Valley State University welcomed a new recruit to its police department this summer.
Meet Koda, a K-9 explosives dog and the newest member of the Grand Valley Police Department.
The two-year-old black lab and her handler, Kelsey Sietsema, attended a six-week training program in Alabama back in May.
Koda is trained to detect explosives in bags or buildings. She also has enhanced capabilities to detect moving odors in the air to track and identify people.
Koda isn’t an enforcement dog, so she won’t be used to apprehend criminals or detect dogs.
Instead, she’ll attend university gatherings like football games, special events and large-scale student life events, offering additional safety mitigation measures for GVSU campuses. Koda will also help the department develop a greater connection and relationship with the GVSU campus community.
“They just seem a lot more happy, ecstatic to have conversations with the police when there's a dog around, you know? It's more fun, it opens up those conversations,” explained Sietsema.