The Canine Services Unit is a subdivision of the Patrol Bureau of the Amador County Sheriff’s Office. 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. Canines in the program are selected based on 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. The canine teams also complete public demonstrations which provides the team with the 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 with the individual handlers and their families.
Our canines 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 canines 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 canines must also pass a rigorous yearly re-certification of their skills to ensure competency and performance are within current state law and canine training trends. The canines are trained to track armed and violent criminals from the scene of a crime, search rural areas as well as homes and commercial buildings, provide a psychological deterrence during tense and dangerous situations, search for illegal drugs, protect the handler and the public from attack as well as search 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 a high level of competency and readiness. Deputy Springer and Deputy Long are currently assigned to the Canine Services Units. Deputy Springer’s canine, Zidan is a two year old German Shepherd who started his career with the Sheriff’s Office in 2018. Deputy Long’s canine, Tark, is a one year six month old German Shepherd who started his career with the Sheriff’s Office in March, 2019.
Deputy Long’s previous canine, Pras, retired from the Sheriff’s Office in March, 2019. The Sheriff’s Office is thankful for Pras’s service and wishes him a happy retirement. Pras will continue to reside with Deputy Long.