K-9 Deployment Information
The St. Albans Police Department (SAPD) has a fully staffed K-9 corps to assist officers in several different investigative and tactical situations.
The K-9 section is made up of three dog and handler teams. Team 1 is Lt. Timmy Kemper and his partner “Dasty,” a four year old German Shepherd. Lt. Kemper is also the officer in charge of the K-9 section. Team 2 is Sgt. Mike Dlugos and his partner “Dutch” and team 3 is Sgt. Jim Butler and K-9 “Deuce.”
Any SAPD officer may request assistance from the K-9 section at any time. If there is not a K-9 team on duty, the shift commander may call a team out if it is needed. The K-9 teams are also available to assist other agencies, however deployment outside the city needs to be approved by Lt. Kemper or the shift commander. In any deployment, the handler will have the final say on how or if the K-9 is deployed.
The dogs of the SAPD K-9 corps are all German Shepherd dogs. Dasty and Dutch are from Holland. Deuce is the first generation of his bloodline born in the United States, of German parents. The dogs and handlers all received training at Battle Ridge K-9, in Boone County, WV.
All three dogs are “dual purpose” K-9s. They are trained to find narcotics, track individuals and assist in patrol and apprehension. The dogs and handlers are constantly training to expand and improve their capabilities.
The SAPD K-9s are trained to find, by scent, narcotics/controlled substances commonly encountered by law enforcement in this area. The substances that the dogs can locate include, but may not be limited to, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, crack-cocaine, as well as commonly abused prescription narcotics ritalin, lortabs and oxycontin.
Deuce “indicating” on marijuana hidden in grill of a pick-up truck.
The dogs are trained to find the substances in buildings and vehicles. The dogs “indicate” the presence a substance by sitting, or in some cases standing, and looking at the area where the substance is. This “passive indication” prevents the dog being injured by dangerous substances and protects property and evidence from damage.
The K-9 is sensitive enough to “indicate” even residue in areas where a substance had been in the past. The dogs will indicate on very small amounts of substance, to include marijuana seeds.
Environmental factors, such as wind direction or ventilation systems can affect the accuracy of the dogs “indication” but will rarely prevent the dog from finding a substance.
During searches the handler will determine if the dog will be used on or off lead (leash) and the safe distance for observers. Officers assisting the K-9 may be asked to keep suspects and other observers away from the search area. Assisting officers may also be asked to detain suspects and to help search any area that the K-9 has “indicated” on.