New K-9 officer, sergeants at sheriff’s office

July 3, 2014
Dep. Baum trains with K-9 Cash as Sgt. Mendham looks on.

Dep. Baum trains with K-9 Cash as Sgt. Mendham looks on.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.  

hanson_mike_sgt

Sgt. Mike Hanson

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is going through a period of transition. Four deputies have recently been promoted to sergeant, including Mike Hanson, Adam Lamb, Eric Soneral and Kenny VanSickle. In addition, a Dep. Ken Baum has been named the K-9 officer.

Hanson replaces Sgt. John Mendham, who has served on the sheriff’s office for 19 years. For several years, Menham has been the department’s K-9 officer. He recently accepted a job as a road patrol deputy with Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, which he starts next week.

Sgt. Adam Lamb

Sgt. Adam Lamb

Mendham has been working with Baum to get him certified as a basic K-9 handler. They were out at West Shore Community College Thursday afternoon getting Baum familiar with Cash the dog.

“I’ve worked with animals since I was a kid,” said Baum, who has served on the sheriff’s department for 3 years. Prior to that Baum served in the Marine Corps. “Working with animals has always come easy for me and I’m looking forward to these new duties. I know there is a lot more responsibility in the position but I’m up for the challenge.”

Sgt. Ken Vansickle

Sgt. Ken Vansickle

Mendham is a certified K-9 instructor, which helps get Baum up to speed faster and more efficiently then having to send him away for special training, Sheriff Kim Cole said.

“It’s sad to see John leave,” Cole said. “He takes with him 19 years of experience with our department. But we are fortunate to have Deputy Baum waiting in the wings and we are confident he will continue on when the K-9 position where John left it. K-9 is a position we can’t go without here.  Cash is an invaluable asset to our agency.”

Sgt. Eric Soneral

Sgt. Eric Soneral

Mendham said Cash is in good hands.

“Naturally I’m attached and letting go is difficult. But, it makes it easier knowing that Ken is taking care of Cash.”

Sgt. Mike Hanson has been with the MCSO for 8 years. Hanson is a graduate of Ludington High School. Adam Lamb, a 9-year member of the department will replace Sgt. Gene Dennert when he retires in the fall. He is a graduate of Pentwater High School. Both will be supervising road patrol.

Dep. Ken Baum

Dep. Ken Baum

Sgt. Soneral and Sgt. VanSickle are assigned to corrections. Soneral has been with the sheriff’s office for 15 years. He is a graduate of Mason County Central High School. VanSickle has been on the department for 8 years and is a graduate of Mason County Eastern High School.

Sgt. John Menham

Sgt. John Menham

“We have a great team here at the sheriff’s office and making decisions to chose leaders is not easy, because of that great team. However, we know that these four have the respect of their peers and will continue the tradition of high quality service and leadership the public has come to expect from us,” Sheriff Cole said.

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