In 1996 the Red Willow County Sheriff’s Office put its first K-9 Unit on the road. In the years since we have use both single and dual purpose dogs to support area law enforcement in illegal drug detection and criminal apprehension. Today’s K-9 Unit utilizes a dual purpose dog that is certified in both narcotics detection and patrol work. Patrol work consists of criminal tracking and apprehension, handler protection, building searches, area searches, and evidence recovery. The K-9 Unit is also utilized to supplement our agencies Special Response Team to provide assistance for operations such as High Risk Warrant Service or other tactical operations as necessary. Our Team has been made available to area law enforcement agencies in SW Nebraska and NW Kansas on a case by case basis, and is also frequently called for drug sweeps of the areas schools.
The dogs we currently use are imported from Europe where they begin the training for Police work not long after being born. These dogs come to us possessing the drives that are desirable for a life of work, and they are selected by a vendor that finds us a dog that suits our needs. After the dogs are brought to the U. S. and paired with the handler they undergo a 12 week training course taught by the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) – Police Service Dog Division. NSP training is based on West German Police standards, and the training meets the standards set forth by the International Congress of Police Service Dogs. Upon successful completion of the training program the K-9 Handler team gains certification for the State of Nebraska. Skills are tested annually for recertification so maintenance training is ongoing for the working life of the dog.
The K-9 unit believes in keeping the public informed so we conduct demonstrations for schools and civic groups of all ages and sizes.
Since its creation the Red Willow County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit has been solely donation funded, relieving the financial burden that would otherwise come from tax dollars. Unfortunately costs such as housing, food, medical expenses, training equipment, vehicle equipment, and deployment gear are ongoing. In addition to the up-keep cost we also try to set aside money to replace the dog should the need arise. The purchase price of an uncertified animal is currently between $9,000 and $10,000. Donations are always appreciated, and are handled by the Sheriff’s Office Posse, a not for profit organization which supports the Sheriff’s Office with financial assistance for equipment and upgrades.
If you would like to make a donation, or would like to arrange a demonstration please contact:
Sheriff Alan Kotschwar #948 at the Sheriff’s Office - (308)345-1850
K-9 Dates of Service
Stryker was a male German Shepherd trained in narcotics, tracking and apprehension.
R.C. was a Chocolate Labrador that was single purpose certified as a narcotics detection dog.
Luna is a female Beigain Malinois that is due purpose certified in narcotics detection and patrol.
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