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2021 Town Marshal Update May

S-1 Tom Fitch

From the Desk of Town Marshal

Tom M. Fitch II, Marshal
Shipshewana Police Department

The Shipshewana Police Department has always considered the police canine an important part of policing in our community.  The canine brings the obvious, well known benefits, that come with the use of police dogs, those are handler protection, drug detection, evidence detection, and tracking.  Yet there is another more important aspect often overlooked by many communities, this is the ability to build relations and rapport within the Shipshewana Community. 

Over the past 21 years that I have been an officer in Shipshewana our police canines and their handler’s have made an indelible impact on many of our residents, children, and businesses.  We are so grateful to the community members who have equipped, fed, and supported these canines and their handlers year after year. 

I have always found it amusing how our canines are more easily identified than most of our officers.  I can remember countless times attending presentations at schools or at community events where the children had no clue who I was, yet as soon as our canine and their handler entered the room the children all knew the dog’s name and several facts about them.  Over 20 years there are multiple generations of children, some who are now adults, who remember our canines: Barra, Zander, Winda, and Alister. In this edition of “From The Desk Of” I would like to give Corporal Nicholas Byroad an opportunity to introduce himself and police canine “Yogi” to the our community.

The following is directly from Corporal Nicholas Byroad:

My name is Corporal Nicholas M. Byroad and I have been a full-time officer with the Shipshewana Police Department for 14 years. The last three years I have had the privilege of being a K-9 handler. My partner’s name is K-9 Yogi. Yogi is a 3-year-old German Shepard born in the Czech Republic. Shipshewana Marshal Tom Fitch and I went to Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania and picked out Yogi back in July 2018. Yogi and I then spent the next 14 weeks training in Allen County, Indiana to obtain our certifications.

Yogi is considered a utility dog. What does utility dog mean? It means that Yogi is certified in 6 narcotics including Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine, Crack, and Ecstasy (MDMA). Yogi can also track people who run from police or get lost using clothing that was left behind. Yogi is also trained to do an article search in an area where someone has run from the police and maybe dropped a handgun, wallet, etc.  Yogi could possibly find those articles. Yogi is also trained to search buildings. So, if we locate an open door at a business, I can make my announcement to let everyone know that Yogi can and will bite and will be searching this building. Yogi is also trained to bite on command. He is also trained in handler protection which means he will protect me. One of my favorite things to do with Yogi is obedience. Our police K-9’s has to listen to their handlers which means they have to be able to sit, down and stay on command. This is the one area where I train with Yogi on a daily basis.

Last but not least, if anyone would like to meet Yogi, always feel free to stop by the Shipshewana Police Department. If Yogi and I are working, we would like to meet you. Yogi likes the attention he gets from everyone.


Nicholas M. Byroad

Shipshewana Police Department

Please feel free to contact the Shipshewana Police Department with any concerns or issues [email protected] or (260) 768-4310.  Please stay safe and healthy!!!


Tom Fitch, Marshal
Shipshewana Police Department