Sheriff seeks funding for two K-9 officers in next budget
Young County Sheriff Travis Babcock hopes to bring a narcotics and search K-9 program back to the department and presented his proposal during budget talks before the Young County Commissioners Court on Monday, July 10.
The Young County Sheriff’s Department has not had a K-9 program since November 2014, with Babcock partnered with the last K-9 serving the department. Olney and Graham police departments each are equipped with a K-9, but according to Babcock those dogs are sometimes unavailable to the county.
“One of my guys stopped a vehicle and they wouldn’t give us consent to search the vehicle and later found out that there was 4 ounces of methamphetamine in the vehicle,” Babcock said. “If we had the dog we would have been able to get that free air search and get in there and seize that methamphetamine off the streets.”
The added expense for the county, if approved, would be $20,000 in canine expenses for handler certification training and an additional $7,000 added in the automotive repair budget to add two canine cages and alarms to patrol vehicles. The county is still in possession of outdoor and indoor kennels for the dogs, so that will not be an added expense.
The sheriff’s department picked up close to 31 grams of methamphetamine in Young County last month and with the addition of the drug dogs, Babcock said, those numbers could be tripled. If a person refuses a search, the deputy can use the dog to conduct a free air search, which, if something suspicious was found, would be probable cause to enter the vehicle.
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