The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s office has two new members on their team – and they’re already helping to get drugs off the streets. These deputies have four legs—a wet nose—and they’re a bad guy’s worst nightmare.
VCSO added two new K9’s in the last week – bringing their force to six.
“They’re young, they’re energetic, they’re still learning – I call them my young athletes in training. And they’ll eventually get to the varsity level,” says Sheriff Dave Wedding.
The K9 program operates on a nine-thousand-dollar budget annually, but one new K9 officer can cost almost sixteen-thousand dollars.
The Sheriff’s Office relies on donations to continue – and expand – the program. It has gone from three dogs to six in recent years.
Sheriff Wedding says that donations for the program came from various donors recently; including the VFW, the Indiana DEA, The Nut Club, and an assortment of private donors as well.
Recently, the Indiana Drug Enforcement Association gave the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office a $56,000 grant– in exchange for a K9 and deputy handler for the Highway Interdiction Program. (HIP
But despite the big price tag, to deputies, these K9’S are priceless.
These new K9’s fill a void on the unit – left by K9 Bosko, who passed away in February 2018. His were no small paw-prints to fill –Bosko apprehended almost 100 felons, recovered almost $300,000 of drug money, and rescued a missing girl with autism.
Now, it’s up to these two rookies – and four veteran canines – to take down the bad guys.
“Yesterday we found nine grams of heroin inside a house , so for his first day of work, 9 grams of heroin, that’s pretty good,” says handler Detective Josh Patterson.
But at the end of the day, these officers are family. Detective Patterson says his daughter now has a special protector.
“She plays with him, hangs on him, pets him, he’s just a big old puppy at home.”
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(This story was originally published May 23, 2018)
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