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FCSO puts new K-9 unit on streets

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office had a new deputy hitting the streets this week but he hit the ground running with four legs instead of two.
After almost eight years without an active K-9 Unit, the FCSO officially released their new German shepherd, named Chill, for duty.
Dep. Jordan Seahorn will serve as the new K-9 deputy and he spent the past month in training with Chill in North Carolina.
“It takes a lot of training to get a law enforcement dog like Chill ready for duty,” said Seahorn, who first met his new partner when he reported for training.
“The training was pretty stressful at times because Chill is only a little over a year old, so he’s still young, but he did a great job and I have continued to work with him every day.”
Seahorn said Chill, which is actually short for Rothchild, was born in Czechoslovakia and is trained to respond to Dutch commands.
“That’s been sort of a learning curve for me,” Seahorn said. “I have German shepherds of my own but I’m not used to speaking to them in Dutch, but that’s the way Chill knows to respond.”
Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said when reinstating the K-9 Unit became a possibility, Seahorn immediately stepped up to the challenge.
“Jordan does a good job and he really expressed an interest in this position, and we thought he would do a good job since he has some experience with those type of dogs.”
Seahorn said his love for animals is what led him to pursue the K-9 deputy position.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I love dogs and I think it’s going to be great to combine that with my passion for being a law enforcement officer.”
Seahorn said the training was a good time for he and Chill to begin to develop a bond, which is very important for a K-9 and his handler.
“We have to trust one another and he has to learn to respond to me and do what he’s told to do,” Seahorn said. “He’ll also be living with me, so we have to learn to get along with one another, too.”
He said during the training, Chill learned skills in tracking, apprehension and narcotics, which will be his primary function.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing the fight against drugs in our county and being an active part of that,” Seahorn said.
“We’ve already made great strides in that area since the Franklin County Drug Unit was formed as I’m looking forward to us working alongside them and getting more drugs off the streets and out of our neighborhoods and homes.”
Oliver said Chill would be a great asset to the FCSO because he is a multi-use dog, which means he can do more than just check for drugs.
He will also be used in situations where there is a missing person or in situations were there is a suspect that needs to be tracked and apprehended.
“We’ve actually had a few situations like this since I’ve been the sheriff and we’ve had to call other agencies to bring in their K-9 units to help, so now we’ll have our own unit that can take care of these situations.”
Oliver said he also hoped to use Chill in educational programs at the county schools.
“A K-9 is a great public relations tool and a way to really reach out to certain groups like school children,” Oliver said.
“We hope to do some educational programs about the dangers of drug use and incorporate Chill into those programs because he is good with people and children and children will really be able to respond to him.”
Oliver said the money for Chill’s training and purchase was made available through funds from federal drug seizures.
“Our budget is pretty tight but when we came up on this opportunity to get money through these federal drug seizures, we jumped at the chance to reinstate our K-9 Unit,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a great asset to our county and to the goals we hope to accomplish.”