There’s a new sheriff’s dog in town.
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office added this week a new K9 and handler to the department, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Katzenmeier has been assigned the duty of K9 handler with his new partner Maxx.
Maxx is an 18-month-old Belgian-Malinois imported from Poland. Katzenmeier and Maxx attended training in Little Rock, Ark., and were certified in drug detection, tracking, item searches and patrol work.
The team is assigned to the patrol division of the Sheriff’s Office. They have already been put to work, most recently helping the Great Bend Police Department in the detection of drugs at a traffic stop Monday.
Total costs for training and equipment are approximately $12,000, but no tax dollars were used for this purchase, Bellendir said.
The Sheriff’s Office routinely seizes money and other assets from drug dealers, and this money is put into a special account to be used for non-budgeted items. “In essence, local drug dealers paid for our K9,” Bellendir said.
In addition to Maxx, Detective Adam Hales still maintains Kia (pronounced Ki ) as a working drug detection dog. “This arrangement allows for more coverage and dogs being assigned to two different divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.”