MENOMINEE — The fourth annual Marinette Police K-9 Unit Run/Walk, formerly known as the Riggs Run/Walk 5K, is on its way, and registration is now available for those looking to take their dog out for the event on June 1. 

Marinette’s K-9 police unit now consists of two K-9s officers, Riggs and handler, Officer Matt Borths, and Raven and handler, Officer Adam Waeghe. The units serve not only Marinette, but Menominee and other cities, villages and counties in the area. The Marinette Police Department’s K-9 unit is funded through donations and fundraising events such as the annual 5K — no tax money is allocated for the program. 

“This is why the 5K’s committee is strongly urging everyone to take part in our event,” said committee member Tim Pelzek of Marinette. 

Pelzek said there are many reasons to support the K-9 unit, including the dogs’ ability to detect illegal drugs and substances, assist in finding missing persons and track fleeing perpetrators. 

“Maybe the best reason of all is to show how much you care about the members of the Marinette Police Department, who put their lives on the line every day to keep you and your family safe,” he said. 

The 5K will be held in conjunction with Family Recreation Day at the Menominee Marina, on June 1 beginning at 8 a.m. Those interested in participating are invited to bring their dogs to Marina Park for day-of registration before the canine-friendly run/walk at 7 a.m., but the committee is also encouraging participants to sign up early on sheets available at the Marinette Menominee YMCA, 1600 West Drive in Menominee; Mighty Pet, 1207 8th Ave. in Menominee; and Marinette City Hall, 1905 Hall Ave. Sign-up sheets are also available on the YMCA website: Go to mmymca.org and click on “Events” at the top of the page, then scroll down to the “Riggs Run” tab. Completed forms can be sent to the YMCA or dropped off in person. 

Adults may register for the 5K for $20, children ages six through 12 for $10, and children five and under for free. Pre-registration for ages six and up also guarantees a 5K t-shirt and a goody bag to take home. Registration forms must be received by May 6 in order to guarantee participants a t-shirt and a goody bag. Same-day registration costs $25, and registrants are not guaranteed shirts, though some may be available. 

New this year, participants will also be able to purchase a 9-inch tall plush Belgian Malinois toy for an additional $15 donation when pre-registering only. Riggs and Raven are both Belgian Malinois, a working breed commonly trained to be K-9 units. 

There will be a K-9 officer demonstration at 7:30 a.m. at the Marina Park, prior to the 5K’s beginning. Each participant in the 5K will only be allowed to run or walk with one dog, which must be on a leash less than or equal to 6 feet in length and must be up-to-date on vaccinations. Participants are also required to pick up after their dogs, and waste bags will be provided. Release/waiver agreements included in the registration forms must also be completed prior to the event.  

For additional information on the 5K, email mpdk9runwalk@gmail.com or jenni@mmymca.org, or call the YMCA at 906-863-9983. Corporate sponsorships are also available for $200.