The Hazelwood Police Department (HPD) has added a new law enforcement team to its police force. The team consists of K-9 Jessie – The Griff Dog and Handler, P.O. James Petty. Lt. Andy Eagan, who oversees and supervises the department’s K-9 Unit, introduced them at a recent City Council meeting.
K-9 Jessie – The Griff Dog was born in the Netherlands on Oct. 8, 2017. She is a female Belgian Malinois. The HPD conducted a selection process for the handler position and P.O. Petty was chosen as the best candidate. He has been with the HPD for over 10 years. He came to the department with K-9 experience from another law enforcement agency.
Both of them started training together on Aug. 27, 2018, with AMPWDA Master Trainer Brian Dowdy at Dowdy Dawgs. They graduated from this training academy on Nov. 1, 2018. K-9 Jessie – The Griff Dog and P.O. James Petty are certified in various illicit narcotics detection and tracking techniques. They currently serve the Hazelwood community as part of the department’s K-9 Unit which is in the Neighborhood Patrol Group.
A special “thank you” goes to The Ryan Griffin Memorial Foundation for its generosity in providing the funding needed to obtain K-9 Jessie – The Griff Dog, DSN 501. This Foundation, which is a non-profit organization, was created by Rick and Kim Griffin in memory of their son, Ryan. Lt. Eagan introduced both of them at the City Council meeting where they made an oversized $10,000 check presentation to the Hazelwood Police Department. Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall was there to accept the check and to present a beautiful plaque to the Griffins as a gesture of the department’s appreciation for their generosity.
“We want to thank the Griffin family and The Ryan Griffin Memorial Foundation for their continued dedication to law enforcement and their drive to help combat the drug epidemic in our society,” Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall said.
According to Kim Griffin, “My son, Ryan, will forever be 20 years old.” She was the one who found him dead in his room at age 20. He passed away from an accidental heroin overdose on April 28, 2007. Since Ryan was a star wrestler, his parents have used the Foundation to raise money and provide $78,000 worth of college scholarships for wrestlers in both public and private high schools. In addition, the Foundation has provided funds for several police departments in the St. Louis area to purchase and train K-9s.
Link to FOX 2 News story on K-9 Jessie – The Griff Dog by Anchor/Reporter Dan Gray: