Franklin Countys First News

New K-9 dog approved for FCSO

FARMINGTON - A replacement for a retired K-9 program dog was approved by county commissioners Tuesday, with funds to come out of this year's Franklin County Sheriff's Office budget.

The FCSO has maintained a K-9 program since 2001, utilizing dogs to locate both narcotics and missing people. Lt. David Rackliffe and Sgt. Nathan Bean are both K-9 handler trainers, and have trained personnel in surrounding counties.

In 2015, Cpl. Chris Chase left the department and his dog, Abby, was subsequently retired from active service. That left the department with two dogs: Rackliffe's dog Justice and Bean's dog Bain.

The issue this year, Bean said, was that Justice was trained to indicate the presence of marijuana, among other drugs. The presence of marijuana, which is now legal under state law, could therefore undermine attempts to use Justice to establish probable cause to search a vehicle for illegal narcotics.

"We feel it's time to fill the K-9 Abby's slot," Bean said. The FCSO had located a certified dog that would come with a money-back guarantee as to its work-ability. The dog, now 13 months old, would come from Robbie Farms of Florida, the same company that sold the FCSO Bain.

Sheriff Scott Nichols said he supported the purchase, saying that he believed that the K-9 program had been responsible for saving three lives in the past four years, from missing hikers to elderly residents suffering from dementia. Given the ongoing opioid epidemic, Nichols said, it was important to have the K-9 units staffed.

Nichols said that he had the $7,000 cost for the dog in his current budget's public safety account. Commissioners unanimously approved expending the money.

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6 Responses »


    While I totally support our local police and sheriff's departments and all the hard work that they do for our communities, I question the need to pay $7000 for a trained K9. The links above describe programs that are available across the country for law enforcement agencies to utilize rescue/shelter dogs as effective K9 officers. Better yet most of the time, these dogs are placed FREE of charge, fully trained and supporting the education of communities of the contributions that ALL breeds of dogs can make! It is my hope that in the future when our local law enforcement agencies are considering adding a new K9 officer, they will look into these above mentioned programs, saving taxpayers much needed tax money!

  2. What do you suppose the chances are that there is a fully trained police/military K9 at the shelter ? Why would it be at the shelter ? Put your feet back on the ground. See if you can get the commissioners to accept the liability on a shelter dog. One lawsuit would be well above the price of a well rooted dog.

  3. Please read the articles I referenced above! I never said that there are fully trained K9 dogs at the shelter. There are however programs that take shelter dogs, train them and donate them to police departments all around the country! It isn't a new idea that you don't have to have expensive, purebred dogs for law enforcement agencies to be effective with their canines!

  4. Ideally, the handler and dog should train together and remain as a team.

  5. That is exactly what happens with these programs once the dog has been trained for "work ability" just like the training that is being provided by Robbie Farms of Florida that the FCSO is paying $7000 for. Please read the information provided in the links that I posted in my first post, it explains the process that many law enforcement agencies across the country have taken advantage of.

  6. I will admit to not reading the referenced items, so this is my somewhat less informed idea but I would suspect that there would we a long and maybe costly application process for these most worthy programs for the free K9 officers. This time factor, and the guarantee might well figure largely in the need to go with a for profit dog farm,