K-9 Unit

Jessica Weathersbee

Wesley Mitchell

Jessica & Max

Wesley & Roxy

At the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, like most other law enforcement agencies in the world, K-9 Units are an essential tool in the fight against crime. Dogs are equipped with a superior sense of smell and keen abilities to distinguish between odors and detect movement. They are also very intelligent and adapt well to an ever changing environment. Humans have recognized the benefits of using canines in law enforcement dating back to ancient Egypt.

Canines help law enforcement in many ways:
  • Provide support to preventive patrol units
  • Perform safety checks, keeping unauthorized persons out of restricted areas
  • Search for narcotics, explosives, missing persons, and human remains
  • Search facilities with over 40% greater effectiveness
  • Deter crime and keep order
  • Provide higher level of deputy safety
  • Reduce resistance during apprehensions
JCSO currently has two K-9 teams that are assigned to a variety of tasks in the field. In the field the K-9 teams assist road patrol in narcotics detection during traffic stops and building searches.

Finding a dog that is fit for police work is not always easy. A dog's natural instincts and inner core determines its character. Natural instincts, like prey instinct, fighting drive, and pack bond are important, but the dog's inner core, how it accepts its environment, its hardness, and its irritability threshold are even more important

Police dog candidates often come from proven bloodlines. Labs are a common choice because of their superior intelligence, stability, energy,and adaptability.

The K-9 has undergone approximately 16 weeks of initial training and the K-9 team does weekly training to keep their skills sharp.

Although the dog is a significant part of a K-9 team, the handler is also important. Canine Deputies are selected for this type of service and knowledge of the law enforcement mission coupled with professionalism, are required attributes. Additionally, all handlers must be self disciplined with a natural ability to communicate with their K-9 partner.

A K-9 reaches the age of retirement usually around 7 or 8 years old, or when it can no longer physically endure the stress of the job. After retirement they usually stay with their partners and live out their lives with their family.