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‘TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME’: Troy PD debuts ‘McGruff the Crime Dog’

For about 35 years McGruff the Crime Dog has been taking a bite out of crime.

On Thursday, McGruff served notice that he will be making his presence known in Troy and, if and when necessary, he will take a bite out of crime.

McGruff the Crime Dog made his first official appearance at the Wednesday meeting of the Troy Exchange Club at noon Thursday. He was introduced to the Exchange Club members and their guests by Troy Police Chief Randall Barr, who said the Crime Dog will play an important role in increasing crime awareness and personal safety, especially among the young people of Troy.

Barr said McGruff the Crime Dog will help the Troy Police Department build a relationship of trust between the public and its police officers and especially the department’s resource officers, Patrolman Carroll Connell and Sgt. Hope Carlisle.

“We want to thank the Troy Exchange Club for providing funds to help make it possible for McGruff the Crime Dog to be available to the Troy Police Department,” Barr said. “McGruff takes important messages to the public including locking doors, keeping lights on and organizing neighborhood watches.”

McGruff is an anthropomorphic animated dog used by the National Crime Prevention Council to increase crime awareness and personal safety in the United States.

Barr said McGruff costumes are used by police outreach efforts to educate citizens of all ages on personal safety measures.

Jerry Beckett, Troy Exchange club president, said public safety is at the forefront of the Troy Exchange Club’ mission. When Troy Police Sgt. Michael O’Hara expressed an interest in having McGruff the Crime Dog “join” the Troy Police Department, the Exchange Club members were listening and they responded.

“McGruff the Crime Dog had been a longstanding idea of mine,” O’Hara said. “I enjoy working with kids and McGruff gets their attention and he has a message they understand.”
Although McGruff is a dog of few words, what he has to say about safety is very important.

“As McGruff, I’ll be working closely with the Troy PD’s resource officers, especially Sgt. Carlisle,” O’Hara said. “They will do most of the presentations but, what McGruff has to say will be important — ‘Take a bite out of crime’ and ‘Say no to drugs.’”

O’Hara joined his chief in thanking the Troy Exchange Club and Pike Liberal Arts Excel Club for making it possible to have a dog like McGruff around to take a bite out of crime