By Jim Newell
Former Oakland County Sheriff’s Office K9 Deputy Michael Garrison, who finished his career stationed in Orion Township, has died as a result of COVID-19.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard posted the announcement on social media on Jan. 14.
“It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of recently retired K9 Deputy Mike Garrison. Deputy Garrison passed as a result of COVID-19. As an employee, Deputy Garrison was a top-notch employee, who was loved by all. He brought such joy to the community as a K9 Deputy and had a deep passion for his job. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garrison family during this incredibly difficult time. Rest In Peace, Deputy Garrison. We will take the watch from here.”
Garrison and Paco, his Dutch shepherd patrol service dog partner, retired from the sheriff’s office in April 2018.
Garrison began working for the sheriff’s office part time in the marine patrol in 1993 and became a full-time deputy in 1994.
It was during Garrison’s and Paco’s last assignment – a demonstration of the team’s skills at the Orion Area Youth Assistance Family Fun Fest event – that The Review spoke with Garrison.
After 24 years on duty, Garrison said it was a fun assignment on which to leave.
“Paco and I have worked in every single township that the OCSO patrols, at one time or another,” Garrison said.
Garrison and Paco had been keeping Oakland County safe since 2012, working crime scenes to detect narcotics, track fugitives and locate bodies of the deceased. They’ve tracked missing or lost children and located wandering Alzheimer’s patients.
For the three-and-a-half years leading up to his retirement, Garrison worked at the OCSO Orion Township Substation. Prior to Paco, Garrison handled another canine for eight-and-a-half years.
There was no information available on funeral services before press time.