The Sheriff's K-9 Unit consists of five tracking teams and two canine teams dedicated to narcotics detection.
The tracking dogs are trained to locate, follow, and alert on fresh human scent, which includes suspects who have walked or run away from crime scenes or who have barricaded themselves in a building or house. The canines are also trained to protect the handler and to hold a violent or dangerous person from escaping. The K-9 Unit members are on-call 24-hours a day.
Prior to being deployed as a canine team, each handler and canine must complete a minimum of 400 hours of basic training and pass the Oregon Police Canine Association Standards. These standards are demonstrated annually. Additionally, each team trains weekly to maintain proficiency.
The K-9 Unit also participates in dozens of public demonstrations every year. The canines are a crowd favorite and usually steal the hearts of adults and children. To request a canine demonstration, please contact Sergeant Steve Brown at (503) 846-5956.
Deputy Chris Green
Deputy Chris Green joined the Sheriff's Office in 2007 after dedicating over four years to the Marine Corps Military Police as a Working Dog Handler. Deputy Green and K9 partner "Gunny" became members of the K9 unit in September of 2013. Gunny is a three-year-old, male Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd from England. The team is currently certified to track suspects, seek lost residents, and search for evidence at crime scenes. This dynamic duo has had five captures since hitting the road in December of 2013.
Deputy Don Maller
Deputy Don Maller joined the Sheriff's Office in 2005 and became one of the newest members of the K9 Unit in September 2013. His K9 partner, "Taz", is a male purebred German Shepherd from Slovakia. Taz is 18 months old and is a currently a tracking K9 with two captures under his collar since hitting the road in December. Maller and Taz hope to earn dual certification in narcotics by December 2014.
Deputy Micah Akin
Deputy Micah Akin joined the Sheriff's Office in 2005 and became the newest member of the K9 Unit in August of 2012. His partner, Stark, is a male Belgian Malinois/Shepherd. The team is dually certified to support regular patrol searches as well as narcotics detection.
Deputy Dan DiPietro
Deputy Dan DiPietro joined the Sheriff's Office in 2006 and became a member of the K-9 Unit in 2010. Deputy DiPietro's four-legged partner is "Maverick", a German Shepherd dog. The team is dually certified to support regular patrol searches as well as narcotics detection. Maverick is an aggresive alert dog, which means that he will either scratch, bite, or bark at an odor of narcotics when he alerts.
Deputy Pete Olson
Deputy Olson joined the Sheriff's Office in 1998 before joining the Patrol Division's canine team in August 2009. Deputy Olson's K-9 partner, "Tau", is a 2-year-old purebred Belgian Malinois, imported from the Czech Republic. Having completed a 240-hour narcotics detection training course, Tau's primary job is to detect and find illegal narcotics. Deputy Olson and Tau work directly with drug enforcement agencies serving the Portland Metropolitan area.
Corporal Kevin Figueroa
Corporal Figueroa is a seasoned K-9 handler and an Oregon Police Canine Association trainer and instructor. He was initially hired in 1998 as a Corrections Deputy in the Jail Division; he transferred to the Patrol Division in 2000. Corporal Figueroa has had two K-9 partners, including his current partner "Vasko". Corporal Figueroa and Vasko completed the 400-hour K-9 School in 2010.