Special to The Sun
The Logan County Sheriff’s Department recently added two new K-9 deputies to its force thanks to the donations of two anonymous ranchers.
The new K-9 units and their handlers were displayed for the media Thursday afternoon outside of the Logan County Jail.
Logan County Sheriff Jim Bauman said he was able to purchase the dogs from an $18,000 donation made to his department. He said the dogs were purchased through a dog handler in Shawnee that also sold and trained dogs for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s department.
“The dogs were purchased through donations from some of our local ranchers,” Bauman said. “Each dog was about $9,000 a piece and they come from Europe. They are both completely trained for tracking narcotics and handler protection. I was ecstatic to get them because that is money that I can use for other things in my department.”
Bauman said the two 20-month-old dogs Darco and Max are assigned to officer Jim Daves and Sgt. Paul Martin respectively.
Chief Deputy Richard Stephens said both dogs came from the Czech Republic and their handler in Shawnee taught them using the Dutch language. He said both officers had to learn Dutch commands during their training with the animals.
Stephens added that both dogs are also CLEET certified.
Martin said he had always wanted to work with a K-9 unit.
“I have always had a love of dogs and there was a definite need in the county for a drug dog,” Martin said. “This fit for me so I took it (K-9) on.”
Martin said he trains with Max several times a week and says it has been a learning process.
“Max is a great dog,” Martin said. “It is a challenge. They don’t come out of a box with a set of instructions. There is a kind of a learning curve. It takes a lot of time and a lot of investment.”
Bauman said Logan County previously had a K-9 unit but that officer moved and the county later donated the dog to the Canadian County Sheriff’s department.
He said he wanted the new K-9 dogs to be both sociable and protective. He said the dogs have already been in use on drug and building searches.
Bauman said he wants to start taking the dogs to the Guthrie Public Schools for both demonstrations for school kids as well as potential drug searches.
“I wanted sociability so we could go into a school and the dog handler can be around kids and they can still do their job but still be sociable,” he said. “They have already hit on drugs and money. They are going to be a great benefit to us.”
Martin said he takes Max home every night and says the dog has become a part of his family.
“He is a great dog and I don’t know what I would do without him,” Martin said.