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K9 Unit

The Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit began in 1986 with one handler and K-9 assigned to Patrol Services. The enormous benefit in using canines in the apprehension of criminals and evidence detection was immediately evident. This resulted in the addition of a second Canine Unit in 1987.

Currently the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office has four K-9 Teams in service:
Deputy Gordon Carroll
 with K-9 Thor (a Belgian Malinois)
Deputy Lendi with K-9 Orry
Deputy Draper with K-9 Kilo 
Deputy Wade with K-9 Sonka   

All Sheriff’s Office K-9s are dual purpose dogs, meaning they are trained in two separate disciplines. The current K-9s are trained in both apprehension and narcotics detection which includes:

  • Tracking
  • Trailing
  • Area searches
  • Building searches
  • Obedience
  • Officer protection
  • High risk warrant arrests
  • Felony car stops
  • Suspect apprehension
  • Narcotics detection
  • Riot control
  • Public demonstrations

The Sheriff’s Office uses German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois as K-9s because of their overall fitness for patrol work. These dogs have excellent noses, great strength, long endurance, good speed and are easily trainable. In other words, they are an excellent all-around dog for law enforcement purposes.

The Sheriff’s Office Canine Teams are assigned as rove cars on patrol, which provides better response to in-progress calls within Arapahoe County and the City of Centennial.

Canines are assigned to one specific deputy, living with the deputy and his family. A K-9 team usually stays together four to six years until the K-9 retires. When the K-9 retires from service, the handler has the first option to keep the K-9 as their pet.

Canine handlers must have the desire and ability to constantly train with their dogs. The K-9 teams have scheduled training each month, in addition to the numerous hours of on-duty training that occurs. Repetition is necessary and very important in the training of K-9s as all dogs are conditioned responders. Over the years, K-9s have proven their value and courage time and time again.  

Past Canine Handlers and their K-9 Partners:

Vincent Cecilione and K-9 “Atlas”  


Mark Campbell and K-9 “Deacon”  


Bruce Hayward and K-9 “Rico”  


Todd Marner and K-9 “Darth”   


Jay Hawkins and K-9 “Arco”   


Mark Ortler and K-9’s “Arco” & “Luke”


Jim Wunderlich and K-9’s “Ringo”& “Ringo Jr.”  


Gordon Carroll and K-9’s “J.R.” & “Max” 

1996- 2011

Mike Mitchell and K-9’s “Ringo Jr.” & “Aragorn” 


James Cook and K-9 "Aragorn"

2009 - 2010

James Cook and K-9 "Orry"

2010 - 2014