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Four New K9 Deputies Join Buncombe Sheriff's Office

Four Deputies at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office recently completed 400 hours in certified training through Haywood Community College and graduated from K9 Handler School. Sgt. Dustan Auldredge, who supervises the K9 program, also completed 400 hours of training to earn his Basic K9 Instructor School certification.

In today’s world of 21st century police handling, the K9 is an integral part of the Sheriff’s Office, and their handlers work hard to dispel common misconceptions about how K9s operate as part of a law enforcement agency. “Our K9s over the years have helped in reducing the need to employ force against a suspect by just their mere presence on a scene,” states Sgt. Dustan Auldredge. “It’s a common misconception that our number one function of a K9 is to bite people.”

Sgt. Auldredge works with K9 Deputy Ryke, who is a Dutch Shepard trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article recovery, handler protection, and building searches. Ryke is a nine-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. 

The primary goal of the K9 Unit is to support the daily operation of all the divisions within the Sheriff’s Office. The K9 Unit routinely supports our Patrol Officers, School Resource Officers, and Detention Divisions in narcotics, explosives, and evidence detection/searches. They also assist in tracking suspects who have fled or lost/missing persons. 

“The K9 Unit is mainly called upon to conduct narcotics and explosives detection work, evidence recovery, and tracking,” says Auldredge. “My role over the program is to provide the K9s and their handlers with the best equipment, knowledge, and training so that they may be prepared for any challenge.” 

The graduating class: 

•K9 Deputy Antti is a Belgian Malinois trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article recovery, handler protection, and building searches. Deputy Aaron Lawson is the assigned handler. 

•K9 Deputy Norris is a German Shepard trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article recovery, handler protection, and building searches. Deputy Dane Onderdonk is the assigned handler. 

•K9 Deputy Aron is a German Shepard trained in explosives detection, tracking, and article recovery. Deputy Stanley Murray is the assigned handler. 

•K9 Deputy Borris is a Belgian Malinois, trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article recovery, handler protection, and building searches. Deputy Dustin Siske is the assigned handler. K9 Officer Borris has been with the Sheriff’s Office for almost four years but Deputy Siske is a new handler and just completed the program. 

The new graduates will complete the K9 Unit and will serve alongside: 

•K9 Deputy Pitcher is a Belgian Malinois trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article recovery, handler protection, and building searches. His assigned handler is Deputy Derrick Coomer.

“The success of our program is a tribute to the overall efforts of every deputy assigned to the unit. I hope this Unit continues to expand so that we may meet the needs of the growing community we serve,” says Auldredge. 

 Kathy Norris was on hand at the ceremony. The Sheriff's Office is grateful to Kathy and her husband, who have contributed funding toward the dogs and equipment. K9 Norris is named after the couple.