8 more paws to help enforce Douglas laws | RecordCourier.com

8 more paws to help enforce Douglas laws

Staff Reports

Two new dogs are joining the Douglas County Sheriff's Office K-9 force.

Beny and Bane are 1-year-old German shepherds, who will be spending the next weeks undergoing training before being deployed.

Beny is from Slovakia and will be handled by 13-year veteran Deputy Adam Windsor, who describes Beny as "mellow."

Deputy Luke O'Sullivan, a five-year veteran of the sheriff's office, will handle Bane, whom he describes as "goofy."

"The first thing he did when he arrived at his new home was to take Deputy O'Sullivan's cell phone and he had to chase him to retrieve it," sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Bernadette Smith related.

Both new canine partnerships will be receiving weeks of intensive training in tracking missing persons, locating and apprehending suspects from crimes, searching buildings or vehicles, and locating drug evidence.

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"After the initial training, the canines train weekly to keep their skills sharpened," Smith said.

"The DCSO K-9 unit also trains and interacts with surrounding agencies. The canines are an extremely important part of policing and the new canines will be certified to be in service by September.

"The new canines will join the existing canines who are Drago, Bak, Shadow and Jax."

The dogs were purchased for $9,000 each and training costs are estimated at $4,000. The purchase of the canines and the training are all paid for from privately donated funds which continue to fund DCSO K-9 program, including the purchase of new canines, training, food, equipment, veterinary care and housing costs.

On Oct. 6 there will be a DCSO K-9 fundraiser hosted by KOH780 AM Jon Sanchez at Sanchez Ranch Meat Co. in Minden. It will be a live remote on the air and the public is invited to listen to the show or be present to watch it, which will include a K-9 demonstration.

In 2016, the DCSO K-9 unit responded and checked 128 burglary alarm activations, searched 161 buildings, tracked seven suspects or missing persons, found 323 pieces of drug paraphernalia, located 4,612 grams of marijuana, 77.6 grams of methamphetamine, 12 grams of heroin, 2 grams of cocaine, and 6 grams of Ecstasy. Due to the efforts of the DCSO K-9 units, 18 more suspects were arrested.

"There were no accidental or intentional bites, but the aggression of the leashed canines certainly was a psychological deterrent to stop suspects from continuing to act aggressively toward deputies, therefore decreasing the level of physical force used," Smith said.