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Special Teams > Canine Services Unit

Canine Services Unit

Deputy and K9 partner

The Canine Services Unit is a subdivision of the Patrol Operations Division of the Amador County Sheriff’s Office. The Canine Services Unit currently employs three canine teams that consist of one German Shepherd and two Belgian Malinois. These canine teams are trained in multiple disciplines such as tracking and trailing, criminal apprehension, narcotics and evidence location, area searching and high risk tactical operations support. The three canines in the program were selected for very specific traits consisting of extreme handler loyalty, selflessness, obedience and their ability to follow commands of the handler without hesitation or regard for their own safety. The canine teams are used on a daily basis by the Sheriff’s Office but are also available to the surrounding Law Enforcement agencies within the county as well as providing public demonstrations and the unique opportunity to connect with the public and present the positive side of Law Enforcement. The canines are purchased and maintained by the Sheriff’s Office but the canines are housed and live with the individual handlers and their families.

The canine teams undergo an initial 12 week training program overseen and approved by the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. After the initial training program, the canine teams maintain their high level of competency and readiness by attending a minimum of 16 hours of training per month provided by a professional Law Enforcement canine trainer. The teams must also pass a rigorous yearly recertification of their skills in order to stay consistent with current state law and canine training trends. Some of the more specific skills the teams train for is tracking armed and violent criminals from the scene of a crime, searching rural areas as well as within homes and commercial buildings, providing a psychological deterrence during tense and dangerous situations, searching for illegal drugs, protecting the handler and the public from attack as well as searching for items of evidentiary value left at a crime scene. The canine’s superior training and sensory capabilities also provide competent and extremely effective defense for a lone officer on patrol.

Assignment to the Canine Services Unit is rigorously tested and voluntary, however it requires a tremendous commitment of time and effort to maintain the team at a high level of competency and readiness. Deputy Chris Crandell has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office since 2007 and has been a handler since 2011. Deputy Crandell's dog, Sabo, is an 8-year old German Shepherd. Deputy Moon and his canine, Benny, a 5-year old Belgian Malinois, have been in service since 2009. Deputy Moon has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 2006. The last of the three teams, Deputy FooSum and his canine, Rico, a 5-year old Belgian Malinois, have been together since the beginning of 2010. Deputy FooSum was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in 2007.


Photo of Sheriff's canineRico is a 4 year old Belgian Malinois who joined the Amador County Sheriff’s Office in 2007. Rico is crossed trained in apprehension and the detection of illegal narcotics.

Rico is a highly motivated K9 partner, who enjoys going to work on a daily basis.








Sabo is a male, black German Shepherd who was born in August of 2003. Sabo has been with the Amador County Sheriff's Office since 2006. Sabo is currently the senior K9 within the Sheriff’s Office K9 Division.

Sabo is a multipurpose K9 whose abilities include criminal apprehension, area searches, building searches, tracking, handler protection, narcotics detection, and locating evidence.

While off duty, Sabo enjoys playing fetch and jumping on his handler’s couch when he is not supposed to.


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