There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s hit the ground running with all four paws.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office’s new K-9, Kahless, and his partner, Deputy Brandon Hunter, have only been working together for three weeks, but the duo has already completed several drug busts and located individuals.
Hunter said when he was a kid, he always wanted to be a veterinarian until his brother joined the highway patrol and his career aspirations changed to law enforcement.
“I saw K-9 handlers on the street and realized I could have both worlds,” Hunter said. “I’ve been after it ever since.”
Hunter has been with the sheriff’s office for 11 years and jumped at the chance to become a K-9 handler when the posting became available. Hunter trained for six weeks before he paired up with Kahless, a 13-month-old Belgian Malinois. The pair are still learning together.
“I was very prepared,” Hunter said. “I’ve spent my whole career preparing for that posting. (It’s going) very good. We’re both still learning, but staying active.”
Hunter said there are a variety of advantages to having Kahless as a partner. Hunter said Kahless is good at tracking missing people or suspects, locating drugs, and just having him around can defuse a dangerous situation.
“Just the presence of the dog seems to neutralize many kinds of threats,” Hunter said, adding amusingly enough, Kahless is named after a Klingon character from Star Trek.
Kahless lives with Hunter and his wife.
“He’s real easy to take care of. For his age, he’s really calm,” Hunter said.
Hunter added he’s excited for “the whole package” of being a K-9 officer and is excited to locate people and get drug addicts help.
“The people aren’t just numbers to us,” Hunter said. “They are family members, kids. I speak with them every time we make a drug arrest that this could be their chance out. Sometimes it’s hard for them to actual go get help. We’re racking up numbers, but they are just people who need help and need assistance.”
The sheriff’s office said the purchase and training for Kahless was made possible through a donation from JEGS Performance, who donated to the Delaware County Foundation.
Hunter and Kahless are one of three K-9/deputy pairs at the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.