FORT BENNING, Ga. (Nov. 14, 2012) -- McGruff The Crime Dog has been seen on Fort Benning over the past couple of weeks, and with the help of the Physical Security Office has been getting his message out by visiting children Oct. 30 at the Main Post Child Development Center.

For more than 30 years, McGruff has been the face of the National Crime Prevention Council -- seen in commercials and pamphlets, teaching children about a variety of social issues such as safety, crime prevention, bullying and staying in school.

But, under the costume of the well-known character is Spc. Joshua Shanahan, a military police officer who said he volunteered for the job.

"It was kind of a spur of the moment thing," he said about volunteering to be McGruff. "But I think it's important for kids to know about the dangers out there. And it's just good to be a part of something like that."

Shanahan, as McGruff, and members from the Physical Security Office, spoke to children, handed out crayons, paper and flash cards. He said he was impressed because many of the children he spoke with already knew to call 911 in case of an emergency. While many of the older children were excited to see him, Shanahan said, some of the younger kids were scared of the costume. Nonetheless, he said it was something he'd do again.

"I think it's really rewarding," he said.

According to the NCPC, more than 4,000 law enforcement agencies have a McGruff costume and more than 75 percent of children recognize McGruff. For more information about NCPC and McGruff, visit and