The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office has had a formalized K-9 Unit since the early 1980’s, when the Allegan County Law Enforcement Association (ACLEA) donated funds to purchase a canine for the department.
The purchase of subsequent dogs and training aids has historically been done through grants, citizen donations, and drug forfeiture proceeds. The only expenses to the taxpayers are for dog food and veterinary services.
The dogs are all dual-purpose animals, meaning that they are trained in patrol work such as tracking and building searches, as well as in narcotics detection. These teams are invaluable in making Allegan County a safe place to live. The K-9 teams are assigned to the patrol division, and are available to any law enforcement agency that has need of their services. This elite unit is a key factor in successfully locating missing persons and escapees, as well as locating hidden illegal drugs. This photo shows Deputy Holmes with his former K-9 partner Basco and the marijuana plants they seized.
All dogs are assigned to live with their deputies when not “on-duty”, and become members of the deputy’s family. They make frequent visits to local schools and libraries to demonstrate their skills to children.