COQUILLE — Coos County commissioners approved a request Tuesday by the sheriff’s office to purchase a law enforcement canine and training certification for its handler.
Captain Kelley Andrews, of the Coos County Sherriff’s Office, informed board members it would cost $8,500 to purchase the new canine and $3,700 for training as well as an added $2,100 to meet accommodations.
According to Andrews, the funds will be coming out of its department’s canine program, which currently has over $20,000 from a combined effort of fundraising and grants. Most recently, a $7,000 grant from the Three Rivers Foundation, which awards grants to a wide spectrum of organizations in areas ranging from historic preservation to public safety. Andrews said the Sheriff’s Office is hoping to add the new canine to its team by September 1.
The canine will be purchased from the American Society of Canine Trainers which will also perform the certification. The training is about two weeks long and curriculum includes narcotic detection, explosive detection, criminal apprehension and search and rescue are among others.
Once the canine and handler are certified, they will be able to join the team, said Andrews. An annual re-certification course will have to be completed by each canine and deputy in the future.
Currently, the sheriff’s office has one canine, Odin. The police dog recently completed his 69th capture by tracking down the scent of a man who ran down along the Coquille River and was hiding its surrounding brush. The man, Chad Stevenson, was arrested July 4, on multiple charges including the unlawful possession of methamphetamine.
Andrews added now that the department has received approval, it will begin looking at deputies to see who will become the new canine’s handler.
“Sheriff Craig Zanni will make the final decision,” said Andrews. “We will probably have a deputy lined up for it next month and it will be announced.”