Swearing-in ceremony held for LCSO’s K-9 deputies

Sheriff Bobby Rader (left) talks to Red, a K-9 dog owned by LCSO Reserve Officer William Hall (right). Red is expected to be a goodwill ambassador while representing the agency.

Three K-9 drug and tracking dogs, and the newest addition to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office – K-9 Deputy Dog “Red” – were officially sworn in on Tuesday by Sheriff Bobby Rader as active K-9 deputies to perform different functions within the agency.

The K-9 deputies are Sgt. Michelle Deshotel’s dog, Jack, Sgt. Paul Young’s dog, Rita, and Deputy Jesse Slaughter’s dog, Itai. Each of these dogs conducts different services in drug identification and tracking.  

After this lighthearted swearing-in ceremony by Sheriff Rader, each K-9 was  presented with a  badge with their names on it to be attached to their collar.  An attempt was made to get a group photograph of all the K-9 deputies together but some of them do not play well with others. After an attempt was made to make this happen, the K-9s’ opinion prevailed and a group photograph attempt was put aside.

This ceremony and the presentation of the badges was the idea of Reserve Deputy William Hall and his very supportive family. Their dog, Red, came to their home as a rescue dog about two years ago. Hall would come home every day to see Red sitting at their front gate. It was obvious Red had been abused and abandoned as there were obvious cigarette burns on his underside and other marks of physical abuse.

“It is still a question as to who adopted who but suffice to say the Halls took Red in and he immediately made it obvious he loved children and a safe and loving home life,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. “It was obvious to the Halls that Red had a personality that would allow him to work with the public and children.”

To ensure that Red would be properly trained to interact with the public, the Halls spent approximately $4,000 out of their own pockets to have Red put through an obedience class. After seeing that the dog sailed through this training, Hall offered Red to Sheriff Rader to be used in public relations events as his training is on a completely different level than the agency’s drug and tracking dogs as Red wouldn’t know a drug from a can of dog food.

Hall and his family also had special badges made for each of the LCSO K-9s to be worn with pride. After a blue uniform with shoulder patches were made for Red, he participated in his first event at the City of Dayton Trunk or Treat Halloween event and thrilled both young and old by his “Officer Friendly” personality as the children patted and loved on Red who returned all the attention with appreciative tail-wagging.

Discussion is presently ongoing with the Multi-County Crime Stoppers Board of Directors about promoting Red to the rank of “Sgt. Tipster” and allowing him to also be the poster child for that crime fighting organization in addition to his work with the Sheriff’s Office. His charm and people loving nature would be used for public events, civic groups or other organizations to reflect support for that organization and its objectives.

“So, as time goes by, it is quite possible that you may see LCSO K-9 Deputy Dog Red in parades, schools, civic club meeting or any other function where he can be of service to his community. All Red would ask in return is just a friendly pat on his head,” DeFoor said.

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