The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office intends to create a K-9 dog program utilizing the transfer of funding generated through the Sierra County District Attorney's Office Consumer Protection program, and use of donations from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for the implementation and ongoing costs of the Sheriff's Office K-9 Program.
A Sheriff’s Office K-9 program has an extraordinary impact on the community, serving in various missions. They take down criminals and break down barriers between law enforcement and the public.
Over the past several years, the Sheriff’s Office has relied on the availability of allied agencies’ K-9 teams to assist in Sierra County law enforcement investigations. Even with long term planning, the availability of a K-9 Team is not always a guarantee. Over the past several years, K-9 Team have assisted in the following investigations:
* Officer Safety, suspect tracking and apprehension during large scale drug trafficking operations cultivating marijuana on both public and private lands.
* The apprehension of suspected armed fleeing felons.
* Locating hidden firearms and spent (fired) shell casings.
* Finding hidden drugs and drug paraphernalia.
* Search and Rescue operations.Over the last two years, th eSheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the District Attorneys Office, implemented a civil process where illegal commercial marijuana cultivators are assessed a civil fine rather than face criminal prosecution. When a Stipulated Final Judgment is reached, both the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office receive Civil penalties and cost reimbursement. The majority of penalties are allocated to the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Fund, and a portion of the funding is returned to the Sheriff’s Office to cover eradication costs. The Sierra County District Attorney controls the Consumer Protection funds and has agreed to transfer current funding and future funding to the Sheriff’s Office to support the K-9 program.
In addition to the Consumer Protection funding, the Sierra County District Attorney was able to secure a $15,000 donation from the Mendocino County District Attorney. This funding will be used for the sole purpose of starting the Sheriff’s Office K-9 dog program.
The Sheriff’s Office intends to partner with the Rudiger Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 with the mission to provide local law enforcement with K-9 resources that demonstrate and enhance an appreciated, supportive work environment, encourage constituency education and connectivity and foster a safer, healthier community Their vision is to achieve a thriving relationship between a community and its law enforcement fostered, supported and made safer by its K-9 program. In he future the Rudiger Foundation will be able to assist with funding the basic K-9 Handler Course; funding the first year of monthly training; donate veterinarian services for the canine; provide equipment for the K-9 and handler.
The K-9 handler will be compensated four hours per week for at-home care, which is incorporated into the deputy’s regular shift. An existing low mileage patrol vehicle will be modified to accommodate the K-9 and handler. The K-9 and handler will be required to attend twice-monthly training but this will be scheduled during his/her regular shift to avoid overtime costs.
Estimated total initial cost would be $40,920 with estimated yearly costs being $6,256.