It's been a decade since deputies with the Steuben County sheriff's office have had the help of some four-legged friends. But now, the K-9 unit has been restored, and it's proving to be a big success. YNN's Crystal Cranmore tells us about the new unit and the bond between a deputy and his K-9 partner.
BATH, N.Y. - - All it takes is practice, patience and trust to build a strong relationship.
“They naturally want to work, they want to have a job. So, they look for that reward from me or my praise,” said Deputy Shawn Shutt of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier this month, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office announced it was reinstating its K-9 unit, which was eliminated 10 years ago due to a lack of financing. K-9s, especially those that are already trained, can cost thousands of dollars.
“The dogs were so expensive, so the money was raised by the Bath Revitalization Group and they donated the money to us,” said Deputy Shutt.
After six months of training, two-year-old Daimon is certified in the areas of Patrol and Tracking as well as Narcotics Detection.
In their first month as a team, Daimon and Deputy Shutt were called to the Steuben County jail after officers discovered contraband. Authorities said one of the inmates fashioned a homemade smoking device from foil.
“The dog alerted us to it, they were able to recover it and take it out of the jail,” said Deputy Shutt.
Deputy Shutt says Daimon is an aggressive alerter, which means he'll either bark or scratch where he believes there are drugs.
When confronted with defiant suspects, Daimon is only trained to use force or bite when a felony is committed or to protect his handler.
Daimon will also be assigned to work with area schools under the Sheriff’s new Safe School Program. That will go into effect in the 2013-2014 school year.
“He'll be active in the schools, not just looking for drugs but as a positive presence,” said James Allard, Steuben County Undersheriff.
The appreciation for Daimon in the sheriff's office and the community continues to grow. Deputy Shutt says he is proud of his partner and already considers him family.