There’s a new dog in town. Dutch, a three-year-old Dutch Shepherd, joins Bulloch County Sheriff’s K9 officers Max and Gismo to make a team of three in the Bulloch County Sheriff’s newly-formed K9 unit.
Sheriff’s Cpl. Ryan Norton is Dutch’s handler, and like other K9 handlers, keeps Dutch at his home, treating him like a pet as well as a partner. He has had the dog three months and said he fits in well with is family, including two children.
Norton has been employed with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office for about a year and a half. Before that, he worked as an officer with the Statesboro Police Department.
Dutch is cross-trained in drug searches, tracking, patrol actions and will “complement K9 Gismo, who is also trained as a multipurpose dog,” Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown said in a release posted on the sheriff’s department Facebook page. “These two dogs together will provide 24-hour coverage for any emergency. They will also be supplements by K9 Max, a certified narcotics canine.”
Max is handled by Sgt. Kirk McGlamery, and Gismo is handled by Cpl. Mark Guarino.
Dutch was purchased solely with funds raised by local individuals and businesses. A Bulloch County resident who asked not to be named hosted a fish fry several months ago where others present donated funds, according to a source who was present at the event. Other donations were made as well.
Dutch recently achieved national certification with the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA). Most of his equipment was funded by donations as well, Brown said.
Previously certified in narcotics detection, the sleek black dog was recently trained to test his “proficiency in temperament, obedience, criminal apprehension, and apprehension under gunfire” as well as several other tasks, he said.
Dutch and Norton will prove to be valuable assets to the department, he said. “Maintaining a canine unit capable of various tasks enables that unit to provide assistance to the sheriff’s patrol, criminal investigations and jail divisions as well as participate in narcotic searches and seizures for the sheriff’s Crime Suppression Team.”
With the trio of dogs, K9 services are offered to other Bulloch County law and public safety agencies as well as in other counties, Brown said.
““The Sheriff’s newly formed K9 unit has proven to be a valuable asset not only to law enforcement officers but the community in general,” he said.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.