The Desoto County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit is comprised of eight deputies and their K-9 partners. K-9 teams are trained in the detection of either narcotics or explosives. They are also crossed trained in locating and, if needed, apprehension of suspects. The unit can also assist in locating missing persons. All DeSoto County K9 teams certify yearly in the each of the tasks in which they are trained. The K-9 Unit conducts proactive criminal interdiction upon the streets, highways, and interstates of DeSoto County, MS. The K9 Unit responds to major crimes in progress, as well as, assisting other units such as Patrol, SID, CID, Fugitive, and SWAT with dangerous, high risk incidents. The K9 Unit works day and nights shifts on a modified schedule, different than Patrol. These modified K9 Shifts ensure that there is a K9 team working during the peak times of the day and night where criminal activity is at its highest.
The DeSoto County K9 unit provides K9 support to local municipalities in DeSoto County, MS as well as neighboring municipalities, neighboring counties, the MS Highway Patrol, and the MS Department of Homeland Security. The DeSoto County K9 unit is regularly called to assist numerous federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
The K9 unit hosts handler training courses for law enforcement K9 teams that are 10 weeks long. These training courses train the dog and handler to detection narcotics or explosives in numerous environments such as vehicles, buildings, and outdoors. Handlers and dogs are also trained in locating criminals in numerous environments who are evading arrest. Criminal apprehension training involves area search, building search, and tracking. The DeSoto County K9 handler courses are recognized and approved by the Mississippi Board of Minimum Standards. Any law enforcement officer who attends the training receives course hours that goes towards the individual officer’s hours of continuing education as mandated by the state. The DeSoto County K9 unit has had numerous law enforcement K9 teams attend this handler’s course from across the State of Mississippi, as well as Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama.
When not conducting K-9 operations, these deputies are assigned to drug interdiction efforts within DeSoto County.
The Desoto County K-9 team has won several awards for their outstanding efforts in suspect apprehension and narcotic detection.