COOK COUNTRY – The newest member of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the Law Enforcement Center this week. One-year-old Canine Deputy Eddy, a German Shepherd bred in Slovakia was secured through Performance Kennels Inc in Buffalo, MN, who specializes in top-quality law enforcement working dogs. Eddy will continue training and will now begin an intensive 14-week training with handler Deputy Paul Spry in narcotics detection, tracking, and patrol.
After support for such a program was communicated to the Sheriff’s Office from the community and the Grand Portage Band, research on the feasibility of the program began last year. A poll of counties with K-9 units was completed through the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association to explore best practices, lessons learned, recommendations on suppliers and training, budget and implementation.
Commissioner Bobby Deschampe was a strong advocate for the program, and the County Board allocated $20,000 in the 2018 Budget to implement the CCSO K-9 Program. Based on research results, Sheriff Pat Eliasen developed the CCSO K-9 Program for the County, carefully selecting the right handler, supplier and training program. The $20,000 covers the cost of the dog, training, outfitting Deputy Spry’s squad car and home with K-9 requirements for Eddy’s safety and performance, as well as veterinary care. Eddy will live with Deputy Spry and his family and will be on duty with him and available whenever required.
“We are pleased to add this additional specialty to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Pat Eliasen. “Having a successful K-9 program is a significant asset to a department. We are excited to welcome Eddy to our force, and get this up and running. I commend Deputy Spry’s willingness to take on this role and commitment, having the right handler is critical to the success of the dog and program.”
Eddy will be cross-trained to locate, follow, and alert on human scent, which includes missing persons, suspects who have evaded crime scenes or who have barricaded themselves, and trained to locate narcotics (cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin) in a variety of different locations including buildings, vehicles, outside areas and more.
“I’m very excited to have been selected and have this opportunity to work with Eddy,” said Deputy Spry. “When I arrived at the initial training and meeting at the kennels, three officers and their awaiting K-9s had not yet been assigned. Eddy immediately approached me and was the only one to do so; so, I feel like he chose me. He’s been with me for a few days now and we are definitely developing a bond and excited to get to work.”
Updates on Eddy’s progress and implementation of the K-9 program will follow in the weeks and months ahead.