A human-canine officer team is a tried and true law enforcement tool. With their keen eyesight, speed and sense of smell, police dogs can perform some tasks faster and at lower cost than human officers with less risk to officers and the public. With this in mind, the Yuma County Detention Center established it's first ever K-9 Unit in August 2001.
The mission of the K-9 Unit is to deter and detect the presence of narcotics in the Detention Center, which include Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Heroin. The K-9 Unit is also assigned to the Patrol Bureau. In addition, the K-9 Unit assists the Yuma County Narcotics Task Force with their mission to improve the quality of life for all residents of Yuma County.
K-9 Officer Paris is a sable and black in color male German Shepherd and was born January 5, 2007. Paris was named after the ancient Athens leader Pericles meaning “Surrounded by Glory” and K9 Paris has proven to live by his name.
Paris and his handler, Detention Officer William Rice, attended the U.S. Border Patrol K9 Academy at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas in May 2008. Paris and his handler successfully completed the two-hundred and forty (240) hour course on June 20, 2008 and received the Border Patrol Certification.
Paris and Officer Rice maintain their certification by conducting 16 hours of training a month at the U.S. Border Patrol K9 training facility. In addition, the K9 team has also obtained the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association Certification and has successfully completed the certification on a yearly basis. Paris also belongs to the Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Association.
Officer Rice and Paris are assigned to the Yuma County Detention Center. Their mission is to deter and detect the presence of narcotics in the Detention Center, which include Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Heroin. Officer Rice and Paris are also called upon to assist the Yuma County Sheriff's Office Patrol Bureau and the Yuma County Narcotics Task Force with their mission to improve the quality of life for all residents of Yuma County.
On May 21, 2010 Detention Officer Rice completed a vigorous nine month academy to become a Certified Peace Officer in the state of Arizona. Deputy Rice, along with K9 "Paris", continue with their mission in seeking narcotic substances in Yuma County.
Multi Agency Assistance
K9 Paris and his handler have been called on to assist numerous agencies within Yuma County to include:
- Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms (ATF)
- Arizona Department of Public Safety
- Arizona State Gang Task Force (G.I.I.T.E.M.)
- Cocopah Tribal Police Department
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Homeland Security Investigations
- San Luis Police Department
- Smuggling Interdiction Group
- Somerton Police Department
- U.S. Border Patrol
- Yuma Police Department
The K9 team has made the following seizures since their certification in 2008:
2013 YTD Seizures:
- 41.7 grams of Cocaine
- 11.27 ounces of Marijuana
- 2.51 pounds of Marijuana
- 9 Marijuana plants
- 27.73 ounces of Methamphetamine
- 51.7 pounds of Methamphetamine
- 14.9 grams of Psilocybin(Mushrooms)
- $517,118.00 U.S. Currency
- 115.79 grams of Cocaine
- 1 gram of Heroin
- 71.05 grams of Marijuana
- 3 pounds of Methamphetamine
- 7.8 ounces of Methamphetamine
- 49.51 grams of Methamphetamine
- $72,840.00 U.S. Currency
Three (3) year old Robby, a light brown male Belgian Malinois originally from the Netherlands, was the first K-9 Officer for the Yuma County Sheriff's Office. Robby attended the Basic Service Dog Academy sponsored by Arizona Department Of Corrections (AZDOC) in Tucson, AZ. Robby and his handler, Detention Officer Rogelio Felix, successfully completed the two-hundred and eighty (280) hour course in narcotic detection and handler protection training on November 7, 2001.
K-9 Robby had completed his re-certification trials annually with the National Police Canine Association on narcotics and handler protection. He continued to perform his duties with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office with diligence. Such duties included narcotic searches of vehicles, buildings, property, and people. K-9 Robby was a duel working dog which meant that he was also trained to perform duties such as cell extractions, riot control, and even protect his handler from harm.
In 2004, K-9 Robby was reassigned to handler Detention Officer James Rochester. DO Rochester and K-9 Robby graduated from the Arizona Department Of Corrections Basic Service Dog Academy course in narcotic detection and handler protection training.
K-9 Robby has conducted random searches in the Detention Center prisoner housing units, Yuma County Courthouse and perimeter, in-coming property, high risk cell extractions, and over four hundred (400) hours of in-service training since 2001.
On February 17, 2007, K-9 Robby attended his last detail which was the 2007 Hank Days parade. K-9 Robby and Detention Officer Rochester represented the department as they have in past years by attending the parade procession. At approximately 1844 hours K-9 Robby passed away at Detention Officer Rochester's residence where he was boarded.