An addition to the Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office is our K-9 Unit comprised of Deputy Chris Killey and our golden lab Gunner. Although this dog looks like your neighbor’s pet, he is highly trained in drug detection. He is able to respond to virtually any situation and serves on the front line of our drug enforcement efforts.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office canine program became active on November 10, 2009 with drug detection canine Gunner hitting the streets with handler Deputy Christopher Killey. Both Gunner and Deputy Killey have completed extensive training in canine handling and drug detection at Drexler School for Dogs located in Elkhardt, Indiana.
In addition to the above case work, Gunner has also assisted in school/locker searches at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School, West Bend School District, Washington County Youth Treatment Center, Lutheran Social Services Tri-Center Academy, and the Washington County Jail. Gunner also assists the Washington County Multi Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Group and other law enforcement agencies at the scene of drug related investigations.
This dog is totally dedicated to drug detection. He is not used for any other searches or crimes. This is better for the training and health of a service dog. The dog stays with Deputy Killey 24/7 and has ongoing training and play sessions throughout his day.
Even our trained service dog, Gunner, needs a break now and then. Deputy Killey works with Gunner to give him the breaks and exercise he needs to stay fit and alert.
In 2013 canine assistance was provided to all full time police departments within Washington County as well as the Wisconsin Dept of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the United States Department of Justice-Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the United States Postal Inspectors Office. In addition eight school searches were completed at the request of school districts throughout Washington County.
The canine unit was deployed 149 times in 2013. As a result of canine unit activity, 13 subjects were arrested with felony criminal offenses, 10 were arrested with misdemeanor criminal offenses and 30 were issued county ordinance citations in 2013.
The canine unit assisted the Washington County Drug Unit with eight directed interdiction assignments which were based upon actionable intelligence of specific vehicles/persons that were highly successful. These directed assignments resulted in several felony criminal arrests, a $37,000 currency seizure, and provided important drug intelligence.
The canine unit was also involved in public relations work for the department, making appearances in 2013 at the Boy Scout Troop Meeting at Fair Park Elementary School, a visit to Slinger Elementary School, an impromptu meet and greet during a Girl Scout Tour of the Sheriff’s Office and a large presentation to the Kohlsville Fire Department Annual Appreciation Banquet. While they are on patrol, the daily contacts of the canine team with citizens, has been very positive from a public relations standpoint.
Canine handler Deputy Chris Killey and canine "Gunner" have been very successful with a verified alert accuracy percentage of 98.4% in 2013. This means that 98.4% of Gunner's alerts were confirmed by the presence of contraband or the following investigation determined that drug odor was present at the time of the alert. To put this into perspective the federal court system has recognized canines as reliable enough to justify probable cause searches with accuracy rates as low as 60%. Gunner's consistently high rate results from Deputy Killey's emphasis on maintaining a quality ongoing training program.