We all know that dogs are man’s best friend, but in the Sheriff’s Office, they play a significantly larger role. The Jasper County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit originated in the late 1980’s. Initially, it was comprised of a single narcotic detector dog and handler.
By the mid 1990’s, the K-9 unit had expanded to include two dual purpose K9 teams, capable of effecting arrests of fleeing fugitives and tracking suspects or lost persons and locating evidence that was discarded.
Post 9-11, the Sheriff’s Office recognized the need for the addition of explosive detector dogs and one was integrated into the K-9 unit as well.
Since the original K-9 team in the late 1980’s, the unit has had 21 different dogs and 17 handlers. The unit presently has three K-9 teams, overseen by the Division Sergeant. These teams are a tremendous asset to the department’s work in narcotic interdiction, fugitive investigation, helping ensure a particular area is free of explosives, locating evidence and lost articles. The K9 unit also offers their abilities to assist area law enforcement agencies that might not otherwise have K-9 teams available to them.
The unit routinely works with area schools and community groups on drug awareness and prevention presentations.