Flat Rock’s new K9 unit named Xander

The Flat Rock Police Department is getting a new K9 officer trained to bolster police protection in the community.
A German shepherd named Xander (pronounced “Zander”) and his handler, Officer Brian Tetreau, began training in mid-October and will be ready for building searches and other duties soon, said police Chief John Leacher.
“We did get the K-9 program back up and running,” Leacher said in an email Wednesday. “They started training and both are doing well. Xander hasn’t been certified for regular patrol work yet, but we expect him to fulfill his training requirements with flying colors.”
Xander will be ready for duty sometime in early January, he said. Training is being done at K-9 Academy in Taylor.
Flat Rock has been without a K9 unit since Officer Rocco retired in early 2013.
The German shepherd served the city 9½ years and assisted with a number of tracking searches and narcotics’ searches for drugs.
His handler on the force was Officer Jerry Page.
The purchase of Xander and the initial training were funded by Sam Simon, owner of Simons Group Holdings and Atlas Oil Co. based in Taylor.
Since 2014, the two businesses have donated two K9 dogs to the Taylor Police Department.
“He does a lot for veterans and police departments in and around the area,” the chief said. “We also had a grass-roots, fund-raising effort that was able to raise $500 to help defray start-up costs as well.”
Xander was named by Simon. The name Xander means “defender of man” in Greek.
“We thought that was an outstanding name for the newest member of our police department,” Leacher said.
Mark and Alisa Maul, owners of Blue Heron Trading Co. in Flat Rock, headed up a fundraising effort that netted $500 to re-establish the unit.
The business, which opened in September 2016, held cooking demonstrations to raise the funds.