CALUMET — The Michigan State Police Calumet Post is welcoming a new member of the force.

His name is Blask and he’s a two year-old German Sheppard. K9 Unit Blask lives and works with Canine Handler Trooper Dieter Kochan.

Kochan said “I’ve had dogs as pets for most of my life. It’s similar, but completely different. When you first meet the dogs, you can tell that they’re completely different than anything you’ve met before. They’re bred for something totally different.”

Blask and Trooper Kochan graduated from a 14-week training academy in Lansing on June 30th and are already out serving the Copper Country. The pair will be called in for instances where a dog’s sense of smell or hearing will be of assistance, including situations involving missing persons or narcotics.

Trooper Kochan said that although Blask is like a pet, he must be treated like an employee.

“I guess that’s one of the challenging things when you deal with them, cause I mean you’d like to play with them and do different things like with a normal dog, but with a working dog, they have to earn their pleasure time or their reward. You just think of creative ways to keep the dog active that actually correlates to police work,” said Trooper Kochan.