Since the completion of skills training, the K-9 Unit has seen a rise in K-9 requests, which was one of our goals in teaching at skills this year. As a reminder, we are here to support patrol operations. Our mission is to hunt and locate wanted persons and nothing can do the job like the nose of a well-trained service dog. We are always available to assist with the service of search/arrest warrants, attempt pick-ups, or any other calls for service that you believe the use of a dog would be beneficial. And don’t forget - the psychological effect of the mere presence of a canine often times will greatly reduce the need for a use of force incident, hopefully preventing injury to deputy and suspect.
On a different note, the canine unit has been without a training field to call their home for quite some time. The current training field is in such disrepair that it is not safe or practical for the K-9 Unit to use as a training location. The current section of land that incorporates the training field is located behind (north of) Range #6 and is adjacent to the railroad tracks, surrounded by an old chain link fence. The field will need to be torn down, re-graded, and have new grass installed. It will also require a new chain link fence on all four sides for safety and containment purposes, electrical work for lighting, plumbing for sprinklers, and various other materials to create an obstacle course for the dogs that is standard at all K-9 training fields. The unit has begun accepting donations from private parties (via the Sheriff’s Foundation) and is being assisted by Fig Garden home-owner and avid Sheriff’s Office Supporter, Frances Morrison. Frances is very motivated and has made it a personal goal of hers to assist in raising enough funds to see our “field of dreams” come to fruition. Anyone interested in donating, or who knows someone who may be able to assist with material and/or labor, is asked to contact Sergeant Ryan Hushaw or any current K-9 handler.