An active K9 force assists in a variety of Monroe County Sheriff Office law enforcement tasks. The K9s include Malinois Belgian Shepherd dogs named Eros, Storm, and Rocco.
The Malinois is a beautiful breed, chosen for police, military and security duties due to its high intelligence, alertness, confidence, protective nature, and versatility. They exhibit a strong drive for hunting and retrieving. Only those which best exhibit these traits as puppies are selected for service. The dogs undergo specialized professional training, and officers are specially trained to handle their canine partner. Typically these dogs develop an unbreakable bond with their human partners. Watching a K9 dog with its handler vividly illustrates how they operate as one with each other.
For the Sheriff's Office, the K9 teams help officers in many applications. A K9 officer has responsibilities similar to other deputies, except that they are carried out with their police dog. These K9s are invaluable in finding narcotics, tracking and apprehending violent felons, helping defuse situations without using deadly force, and searching buildings and homes for suspects without putting others in danger. The work of K9s also helps reduce the risk of injury to deputies.
A K9 officer's responsibilities don't end at the end of his shift. The police dog is the officer's partner at work and at home. The K9 handler, and often the family, care for their police dog, with strong devotion and mutual loyalty.
Monroe County is one of the few area Sheriff's Offices to have a K9 force.