The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office takes great pride in its K-9 Unit because of the proficiency and ability of the animals working in partnership with their handlers. Our K-9 Teams work closely with the Narcotics Division and the Crime Suppression Team of special calls for service on a daily basis.
The K-9 Unit is the Region 6 K-9 Task Force that is mostly funded by GEMA. We services 16 area counties therefore many times our teams are called upon to assist other neighboring Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies through mutual aid.
The Unit consists of a Sergeant and six K-9 handler/dog teams. Our K-9s are single purpose dogs used for the detection of narcotics or explosives. The program utilizes several different dog breeds including German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Labrador Retrievers, all of which possess particular traits that make them especially well-suited for their assigned duties.
In addition to their regular duties, the K-9 teams are utilized for a variety of public relations and community outreach functions. Each dog is assigned solely to his or her handler and lives with them at their homes, creating a strong bond that ensures a solid working partnership between the two.
Important things to note regarding K-9 working dogs
- While these dogs may look like any other pet, they are highly trained law enforcement tools and must be treated accordingly. There is no need to be fearful of these dogs, but there are a few rules that should be followed to ensure everyone's safety when interacting with a K-9 team.
- Never approach a K-9 unless the handler is present and has said that it's okay to do so.
- Don't reach inside a vehicle to pet a K-9.
- Make an effort not to startle or surprise a K-9. If you must approach a K-9 team, do so from the front, speak to the handler in a normal tone of voice, and stop a few feet further away than you normally would to hold a conversation.
- Do not make aggressive gestures or movements in the presence of a K-9, even in a joking manner. The dog will not know if you are joking, and most of these dogs are trained to key in on this type of behavior.
- •Failure to follow these rules may result in a serious bite