Sheriff's Benevolent Posse Launches Project Deputy Dog
Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff Department
“Project Deputy Dog”, a new fundraising effort to add two “K-9” deputies to the county Sheriff’s Office, has been launched by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse.
The Posse hopes to raise enough money to add two new dogs to the Sheriff’s team and funds to pay for unanticipated non-budgeted expenses as well as funds to go toward the future purchase of additional replacement canines as dogs reach the end of their service life, which is around 8 years old.
Project Deputy Dog seeks to raise approximately $160,000 for the Sheriff’s Office canine needs. In addition to the purchase of specially bred dogs, the program would fund basic law enforcement training, specialized training for tracking, narcotics and bomb detection, important ongoing training, food/veterinary care, specialized equipment and other needs. The effort is being led by Posse Board of Directors member Sue Pohls of Solvang, who learned of the needs at the Sheriff’s Office Canine demonstration during last year’s Posse fund/barn raising event for the Sheriff’s Office Mounted Enforcement Unit.
Mrs. Pohls said, “This is a cause it’s easy to get passionate about, especially for any of us who are dog lovers. It combines a tremendous law enforcement asset to help protect all of us who live in Santa Barbara County and provides these dogs with a job and mission that they are enthusiastic about.”
One of the Sheriff’s four patrol operations dogs is getting close to retirement, which creates an urgent need to add an additional K-9 that is trained in patrol, tracking, and bomb/explosive detection. The additional dog would allow for two narcotics trained and two bomb trained canines in the County and would allow for 24/7 365 day coverage for all of Santa Barbara County.
The additional dog, which Project Deputy Dog hopes to fund, is for the purchase of a narcotics detection K-9 assigned to Custody Operations. This would allow for a dedicated narcotics detection trained dog to be utilized within the County’s custody facilities to detect illicit narcotics, a job currently handled by custody deputies who must devote time conducting prisoner body and property searches.
“Our K-9 corps is an invaluable asset in the County’s law enforcement efforts,” said Sheriff’s Office Lt. Kevin Huddle who supervises the program. “They are an extremely efficient part of our department and can accomplish feats that are impossible for our human deputies.”
“After extensive training, our canines are teamed with a deputy and work as a dedicated team. Each of the dogs is a part of both the Sheriff’s Office family and that of their handler. The bond and the dedication that exists is extraordinary and every one of the dogs have provided heroic feats in service to protecting citizens of the County,” added Lt. Huddle.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Posse is a not-for-profit public benefit corporation with all contributions tax deductible under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Sheriff’s Posse Board is comprised of local non-law enforcement volunteers who donate their time, and efforts to assist the Sheriff’s Office to fill its needs not funded by the constrained County budget.
In the recent past, the Sheriff’s Posse has helped the Sheriff’s Office obtain much needed emergency equipment including protective vests, night vision goggles, specialized weapons, computer equipment, a barn for its Mounted Enforcement Unit and has supported the highly effective DARE program in county grammar schools that trains students to develop good decision-making skills and understanding of the harmful effects of substance abuse, bullying and violence.
The Posse is also currently working toward a goal of assisting the Sheriff’s Office by identifying gaps in technology and equipment and assisting with procuring those items that may fall outside the capacity of the Sheriff’s budget. The pace of change with respect to technology and safety equipment makes such assistance critical. The Sheriff’s Posse is honored to assist the Sheriff with numerous important needs such as through Project Deputy Dog; upgraded technological capacity; high-resolution cameras; specialized equipment for the dive team; and vehicles for specialized teams.
For more information about the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse, visit this website.