K-9 team begins work at Covenant HealthCare

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SAGINAW (WJRT) - (09/10/19) - One minute he could be cheering up a child who's having a bad day, the next minute he might be tracking down bad guys.

Harvey, a 19-month-old black Lab, is the fifth K-9 officer to join the Saginaw Police Department.

Harvey and Officer Justin McGregor are assigned to Covenant HealthCare. A partnership made the K-9 team possible.

"He gets into work mode he's more directed," said Officer McGregor. "But outside when he wants to play catch he is just a huge ball of energy."

Most days K-9 Harvey and Officer McGregor will focus their work on Covenant's Cooper, Harrison and Michigan campuses, but they are available for calls and events in the community.

"Make sure to cover all the floors and make sure we're both seen, because that's the main goal is, Covenant wanted us to be seen 24/7," Officer McGregor said.

Harvey is trained in incendiary detection, article searches, and tracking.

Covenant HealthCare Manager of Security Joe Dutoi said think of Harvey as a triple threat. "He's here as a deterrent. He's here to meet and greet, and Harvey's just kind of a rock star at this hospital," Dutoi explained.

During his first three days on the job Harvey has taken plenty of selfies with patients, visitors and workers. His calm demeanor is part of his charm and job description.

"He looks friendly, people can come up and pet him, and get involved with him," Officer McGregor said.

Saginaw's other four police K-9s are your typical working dog breeds such as Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd, but Harvey is noticeably different.

"He's a full American black Lab, and he's the first for our department," Officer McGregor explained.

He's the perfect breed for what can be some of the toughest work. "Kid who's having a 'down day' if you will, he can go up there and they can pet him, just kind of brighten up their day a little bit," Officer McGregor said.

And while his special skill set makes him more approachable, make no mistake, the K-9 team has a job to do on Covenant HealthCare's campuses.

"I think it's a reality anywhere in the nation right now, and so you know I think we're at the forefront of getting ahead of everything," Dutoi said.

Along with Harvey and Officer McGregor there are three other Saginaw police officers assigned to Covenant HealthCare.

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