Walton Co. K-9 Unit Adds A Member

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - Walton County Sheriff's Office is introducing a new member to their task force and they are "dog-gone" excited. News 13's Peyton LoCicero tells us about the extra help.

If a criminal goes barking up the wrong tree, they will now be met with Walton County's newest K-9s.

"This is K-9 Jester. He is a year and a half old. He came from the Netherlands but, I picked him up from Police Service Dogs in Oxford, Florida," said Damon Byrd, Walton County Sheriff's Deputy K-9 Unit.

Putting in extensive hours of training for the past three months, Deputy Byrd and Jester are officially K-9 partners. 

"Jester is currently trained through the United States K-9 Association in Narcotics Detection. He is trained and certified. He is also certified through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in apprehension," said Deputy Byrd.

Jester is the third member to join the current Walton County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit. Other members of the team are: Drago, a Dutch Shepherd and Kayne, a German Shepherd.

"K-9s are important because it gives the community a sense of security. I have been on a few calls and you know when they see the "K-9 Unit" on the vehicle, they think twice about possibly fleeing if they are a suspect because they know we can track," said Deputy Byrd.

They have wasted no time putting the dogs to the test.

"His first week out on the road, he made two felony narcotics cases. And we are just trying to go from there and make as many cases as we can," said Deputy Byrd.

Late last week, Jester and his team assisted in a major bust, sniffing out several narcotics including Methamphetamine.

"I couldn't ask for a better dog. When he comes home from work, the collars come off and he becomes a part of the family," said Deputy Byrd.

The K-9 Partnership is a big responsibility but it's one the deputies are committed to. The Walton County newest K-9 team is officially on the roster and ready to work.

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