Preble County Sheriff’s Office enlists new K-9 unit

PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County Sheriff’s Office will have a new K-9 serving the county on Thursday.

Arko, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, and his handler, Deputy Devin Smith, will begin their service after they completed their six-week training course with the Southwest Regional Training Group.

The training involves hours of work including the handlers having to pass two written tests, a case law review and seven practical field tests with their dog, all before sitting for state certification.

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Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said handlers have to be committed to the training and the job.

“This is a career decision to want to do this,” Simpson said.

Simpson said the addition of Arko serves as another tool to help serve the residents, as well as for the sheriffs office’s narcotics investigations.

The sheriff’s office used 40 percent of public money to purchase Arko. Simpson explained that the other 60 percent of funds came from their asset forfeiture, money seized from criminal apprehensions.

“So that’s a good return; the criminals are funding a large portion of this,” Simpson said.

The Preble County Sheriff’s Office wan not the only agency to get a new K-9 unit. In Shelby County, the Jackson Center Police Department have welcomed Corey, a German Shepherd. Corey and his handler, Officer Nick Honeycutt, will also go into service this week.