(6-2-21) Deputy Brandon Crosby and K9 Blek (pronounced blue) received an Exceptional Service Award from the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) at its National Workshop in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The award was presented to K9 Blek and Deputy Crosby for their actions during an incident on March 25, 2020. A 29 year old suspect who was wanted out of Portage Michigan was believed to be armed and dangerous while traveling with his one year old daughter in a vehicle. The vehicle was involved in a police pursuit that was terminated in Van Buren County prior to entering Berrien County. Due to there being a one year old child in the vehicle it was not pursued in Berrien County. The vehicle was seen traveling on Pipestone Road near Britain Avenue in the City of Benton Harbor and was later found abandoned near the intersection of East Main and Butternut Street in Benton Charter Township. A perimeter was set up by several officers in the area and Deputy Crosby and K9 Blek began a track of the suspect. The suspect was located hiding behind a shed in the 1200 Block of Vincent Court. K9 Blek apprehended the suspect by biting him in the arm. The child was also located behind the shed and she was unharmed. A firearm was later recovered near where the suspect vehicle was abandoned. Deputy Crosby and K9 Blek are commended for their efforts in bringing what could have been a very dangerous situation to a close without serious injury to anyone involved. Both the suspect and his daughter were treated and release at Spectrum Health Lakeland and the daughter was returned to her mother.

The NAPWDA was founded in 1977. It is composed of Law Enforcement K9 Officers throughout the United States and several other countries. The NAPWDA is committed to assisting police working dog teams throughout the world.