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Sheriff’s Office now has a formidable K-9 Division

  K-9 1

The Colleton County Sheriff’s office has amassed a very impressive K-9 Division with a total of five dogs used to track, detect narcotics, and protect their handlers: but each dog does not necessarily perform every one of  these tasks.

Wade Marvin is a senior handler with the Sheriff’s Office. He got his first chance at dealing with K-9s back in 1993, when he asked former Sheriff Allan Beach if he could be a handler. “Sheriff Beach had me on drug interdiction, and I asked him if I could be a K-9 handler. I then went to the American Society in Remington, Virginia, where I trained.”

After his training was completed, Marvin got his first dog, named “Truetis,” and has since made several seizures. These seizures paid off for Marvin. In March, he received three awards for narcotics interdiction. One award was for what was termed as the “Seizure of the Month,” which was in connection with the largest monetary seizure during a single month. “I had the most significant seizure out of thousands of others. I found $342,860 in U. S. currency hidden in the lift-gate of a Chevy Traverse. I just found the guy’s story inconsistent, and asked if I could search the vehicle. He consented.”

Marvin received a second award for the Largest Highway-Level Ecstacy Seizure after he discovered 2,800 tablets within a vehicle. The third award Marvin received was a Special Recognition Presentation for the 2012 Legacy Award. “I had Truetis since 1993, and he died not too long ago, and he made millions of dollars worth of alerts to drugs, and we seized hundreds of pounds of narcotics.” Marvin received the three awards when he attended the National Interdiction Awards Dinner, which was part of a training-related conference held from March 10-14 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Corporal Kevin Kinard, who is also on the department’s Interdiction Team, also attended the conference.

“Truetis died of old age. This kind of work is hard on the dogs, with them jumping in and out of vehicles all of the time. Truetis was nine years old when he died, and the life expectancy for K-9 working dogs is anywhere from six to 10 years.”

Marvin now has a new K-9 companion named “Paco.” “You have to be with your dog on almost a full-time basis; everywhere I go, he goes. It’s a bonding procedure, and it takes over one year just to get a good bond. After two or three years, you come to know what to expect from each other.

I’ve had Paco for a year now, and it has been great; K-9 3but, you have to start over with every dog.”

The K-9 dogs used in Colleton County are purchased at the training facility in Virginia for a cost of about $10,200, which includes training.”The purchase, along with the training, is purchased with interstate drug money, so there is no cost to taxpayers.”

Marvin noted he goes through weekly training sessions with Paco , along with certification processes that have to be done on a yearly basis. “You also get street experience with the K-9, and this process teaches more than any other process. By doing this, you learn how to read a dog.” Marvin noted that he is a certified trainer.

Other certified K-9s and handlers at the Sheriff’s Office include Sergeant Kevin Campbell, who has a narcotics dog named “Jimmy;” Sergeant Brandon Craven, who has a patrol dog named “Arko;” and Sergeants Ray Taylor and Brian Ackerman both have bloodhounds, “Deets” and “Pedro”, which are used for tracking only.

“Pedro, a certified tracking dog, was our newest purchase dog. He was obtained because the department needed another good tracking dog, and bloodhounds are very good for this.”