• 70°

Fundraising begins for Polk’s K-9s

Sheriff’s office partners with STAND T.A.L.L. to raise money for supplies

COLUMBUS—The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with STAND T.A.L.L. (Thank A Local Lawman) to raise money for its K-9 program. 

The sheriff’s office currently has 4 K-9s who are trained in different search and rescue efforts. 

The sheriff’s office is asking for donations to STAND T.A.L.L. who will handle the donations and purchase the needed equipment for the program. 

The sheriff’s office’s K-9s include Edo, Joker, Jumper and Rudik. All of the K-9s were imported from Europe and initially trained and purchased through Astro Kennels out of Greenville, S.C., according to Mark McCracken, K-9 Training Coordinator at the sheriff’s office. 

K-9 Edo is a 1.5 year old Belgian Malinois that is currently being trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article search/evidence recovery, aggression control, criminal apprehension, and handler protection. His handler, Ptl. Guerrero will begin handler school with Edo this coming fall.

K-9 Joker is a 2 year old Belgian Malinois trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article search/evidence recovery, aggression control, criminal apprehension, and handler protection. Joker is handled by Ptl. Luchak and are assigned to the PCSO road patrol division’s Baker Squad. Joker was recently credited with the location and arrest of a violent and dangerous domestic violence suspect. Joker has also aided in several drug seizures that are currently being prosecuted in Polk County as well as the location of a firearm that was discarded by a fleeing felon during a vehicle and foot pursuit.

K-9 Jumper is 1.5 year old Dutch Shepherd trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article search/evidence recovery, aggression control, criminal apprehension, and handler protection. Jumper was named after the late Sgt. Conley Jumper of the Greenville County Sheriffs Office (SC). Sgt. Jumper was a K-9 handler for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and was killed in the line of duty on 10/20/2020. K-9 Jumper is handled by Ptl. McCracken on the PCSO road patrol division’s David Squad.

K-9 Rudik is a 1.5 year old Belgian Malinois trained in narcotics detection and is our first detention center based K-9. Rudik and his handler C.O. Damato scan our detention facility for illegal narcotics on a daily basis as well as our local schools and courthouse upon request.

STAND T.A.L.L. is a 501 (c)(3), located in Hendersonville that serves western North Carolina law enforcement agencies. 

Much of the money raised is donated to law enforcement agencies for educational advancement of active duty law enforcement that is not part of the department budgets. 

Unrestricted funds raised by STAND T.A.L.L. are also donated to law enforcement for equipment replacement or replenishment requested by the departments as long as the item is not provided in the budget. STAND T.A.L.L. has recently provided funding for K-9 dog vests, the acquisition of K-9 dogs and K-9 training for dogs and handlers. 

For more information, or to donate to Polk County’s K-9 program, people can visit thestandtall.org.