Douglas County adding second K9 unit
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office aims to add a second K9 unit this spring. Deputy Cory Fossum will pair with new K9 dog, Sheriff Tom Dalbec said. He said he expects the new team to be on the job by mid-summer. "There's obviously a need for it,...
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office aims to add a second K9 unit this spring.
Deputy Cory Fossum will pair with new K9 dog, Sheriff Tom Dalbec said. He said he expects the new team to be on the job by mid-summer.
"There's obviously a need for it," the sheriff said, pointing out the large amount of drugs that have been intercepted in the area.
The joint Douglas County Sheriff's Office and Superior Police Department narcotics unit seized drugs with a street value of more than $500,000 in 2016, including 460 grams (one pound) of heroin, 2,962 grams (6½ pounds) of meth and 1,227 grams (2.7 pounds) of marijuana, according to department statistics.
With the county's schedule - four days on and four days off - there are times when the current K9, Talon, is not available.
"We want to have the ability to have a K9 at our disposal when we need it, 24/7," Dalbec said.
Talon started with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in May 2014. With handler Deputy Brian Witt, the 60-pound Malinois racked up 10 drug arrests in his first month. In addition to narcotics detection, Talon specializes in patrol.
"Just by having a dog present at a scene, I think, gives us a presence," Dalbec said.
He said the new dog will also be a multi-use K9 focusing on narcotics, tracking and apprehension.
Money to pay for the new dog, training and equipment - up to $15,000 - will come from local drug seizures and the AMSOIL Northland Law Enforcement K9 Foundation.
A lot has changed since 104 donors chipped in to bring K9s back to Superior and Douglas County in 2003. Dalbec recalled holding fundraisers such as T-shirt and bake sales.
Over the years, local businesses - Dan's Feed Bin and Superior Animal Hospital - have continued to provide food and veterinarian services for the dogs.
"They have been very supportive of the K9 programs here and at the police department," Dalbec said.