Two new highly trained deputies spent their first full day on the force in Shasta County today. They're already putting their crime fighting noses to the grindstone.
It's a different "breed" of deputy, so highly trained it walks on all four's and doesn't carry a gun.
They just finished an intensive k-9 training session that lasted 5 weeks, or eight and a half months in dog years.
“I don’t have any kids but it is kinda like watching a kid graduate. I mean you are pretty proud at this point,” said K-9 Handler, Deputy Tim Estes.
“A ton of work goes into the training of the dogs. They are very dedicated,” said Sgt. Pat Kropholler, leader of the K-9 Unit.
Thor and Kash are the two newest ‘deputy dogs’ to join the sheriff’s office. At the ‘scenter’ of their skills is a nose for crime. They are cross trained in suspect apprehension and narcotics detection.
“They are an extreme asset. They protect the handlers. They can be deterrence when people hear the dogs barking,” said Kropholler.
“We don’t want to see the dog bite somebody but when you put on the badge you don’t know what is going to happen,” said Estes.
Kash, two-years-old, and Thor, 16-months; replace one of the aging members of the force.
“He has worked with me for the last 10 years and I feel like I have something missing every day that I go to work,” said Kropholler.
Sgt. Kropholler's dog Max recently retired after an impressive career in which he detected 2,700 pounds of drugs and 8-million dollars in cash.
“All of us would rather be retired and not at work. He strives to want to come to work every day,” said Kropholler.
The hope now is that these two new K-9's continue max's winning streak.
Kash and Thor join three other K-9's to make a total of five. That means there's at least one for the each of the sheriff department's patrol shifts.