Canine Unit

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The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office (K9) Unit was originally formed in 1971 and consisted of one Police Service Dog (PSD), “King”. This dog was handled by Deputy Eddie Meeks and unfortunately “King” was shot and killed in the line of duty. The current (K9) Unit was reestablished in 2001 with Police Service Dog (PSD), “Dezeu” and Deputy Brad Young.

Police Service Dogs have many responsibilities. Their expertise includes tracking, agility, article search, building search, open search, chase and apprehension, and handler protection. Police Service Dogs also assist the SWAT team at tactical calls. They are utilized to provide containment and to assist our SWAT Team. Our handlers are on call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. All handlers must complete an extensive training course where the handler and dog learn as a team. These are highly-trained and assertive animals, however, they are able to interact with the public. The Canine Unit is responsible for numerous public demonstrations each year. The teams attend public functions and school presentations. These demonstrations allow us to showcase the abilities of our canine partners and inform the public of their importance.

The Sheriff's Office currently has three canine teams.

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 Deputy John Wells and K9 Turbo

Deputy Wells

Started his law enforcement career in 2001

Has been a SWAT team member for 10 years

Has been a K-9 handler for 2 years

Partnered with Turbo July, 2016

Turbo

German Shepherd born in Holland on June 6, 2015

Pre-trained at Shallow Creek, PA

Trained with his new handler, Deputy Wells, for two weeks before coming to ACSO

Is trained in tracking, drug searches, building searches, articles searches, and suspect apprehension

Routinely trains with his handler

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Deputy Randozzo and K9 Joe

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Deputy Randozzo and K9 Gunner

Deputy Randozzo

Started his law enforcement career at the Virginia Department of Corrections

Became a K-9 handler while employed at DOC and partnered with K-9 Joe in May 2008

Deputy Randozzo and K-9 Joe started at the ACSO as a team

Obtained Gunner, who will undergo training and replace Joe when he retires

Joe

9 Years old

Bloodhound that specializes in human tracking

Gunner

Was born April 2016 in North Carolina

Bloodhound that will also specialize in tracking human odor

Came to the ACSO when he was 9 weeks ago, and began training with Randozzo when he was 10 weeks old

Will attend a 480 training school with Deputy Randozzo in 2017

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 Deputy Chris Pultz and K9 Blaez

Deputy Pultz

Started his law enforcement career in 2001

K-9 handler for 5 years

Partnered with Blaez in 2013

Blaez

8 year old German Shepherd born in the Netherlands

Is trained in suspect apprehension, drug searches, tracking, and evidence recovery

Deputy Pultz and Blaez received a life saving award from the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers for tracking a suicidal subject who had self-inflicted injuries.