Randolph County Sheriff’s Deputies brought a couple of their K-9 unit dogs to Randolph Community College’s Asheboro Campus on April 27 for a demonstration for RCC’s Criminal Justice Technology students.
Cpl. David Baker, the handler for an 8-year-old chocolate lab named Sadie Mae, and Deputy Randall Purvis, the handler for a 3-year-old bloodhound named Dan, demonstrated both drug and people searches for the students.
Sadie Mae is a drug-search dog, according to Cpl. Baker, and they demonstrated how she searches for drugs and “sits” beside the location to indicate she has found something. “She is certified in meth, heroin, marijuana and cocaine,” said Cpl. Baker. He said Sadie Mae has helped in close to 160 successful seizures, including finding over $100,000 in drug money, and one single seizure of 220 pounds of marijuana.
Baker said Sadie Mae cost $3,500 when he got her about seven years ago, but today the average cost of a trained drug dog is $10,000. The canine has approximately 500 hours of training before the handler takes over, then both the officer and the dog are trained together. Baker told the students there is a lot of paperwork involved with a K-9 unit. “Every time I get her out of the car, I have to write a report. Every time we go for training, I write a report,” he said. Another interesting fact — the dog commands are in Dutch.
One of the Criminal Justice students hid in the bushes outside the Administration/Education Center and Deputy Purvis and Dan demonstrated his tracking abilities. Dep. Purvis said when Dan is searching, he keeps his nose to the ground. “If his head comes up, you are getting close.” It didn’t take long for Dan to find the student.
Neither of the dogs are attack dogs, said the deputies. In fact, Dan is rather friendly and has been known to lick suspects after they’ve been handcuffed. Purvis said this is the start of the busy season for lost hikers, which Dan helps locate. They also search for runaways, people with dementia who wander off, and in criminal pursuits. Purvis has had Dan for about two years and estimates he has participated in about 40 real life searches.
RCC’s Criminal Justice Technology curriculum is designed to provide knowledge of criminal justice systems and operations. Study focuses on local, state, and federal law enforcement; judicial processes; corrections; and security services. Employment opportunities exist in a variety of local, state, and federal law enforcement; corrections; and security fields. Examples include police officer, deputy sheriff, county detention officer, state trooper, intensive probation/parole surveillance officer, correctional officer, and loss prevention specialist.
For more information on the Criminal Justice program, contact Neil Weatherly at 336-633-0327 or visit http://www.randolph.edu/criminal-justice-home.html.