Hot Springs County Sheriff's Office Debuts New Narcotics Dog

Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office Debuts New Narcotics Dog

Written by on July 13, 2022

The Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office is celebrating the newest member of its team: a dog trained to help deputies detect and locate illegal drugs moving through the Bighorn Basin.

This week, the Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office announced the new addition to the force is Riggs, a German Shepard. The dog and its trainer, newly certified handler Deputy Shayna Cox, make up the department’s first K9 law enforcement unit.

Courtesy Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office

The K9 Riggs will assist the Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Office in stopping the flow of illegal drugs in the Bighorn Basin.

According to Pacesetter K9 – a D.E.A. licensed company that trains dogs for law enforcement use – Drug Dog Teams are typically used by law enforcement officials to search vehicles, cargo, luggage, buildings, and any location suspected of containing illegal substances.

Luckily, narcotics dogs never make direct contact with any drugs. Instead, dogs detect and locate the scent of drugs and alert officers if anything is detected.

The National Narcotic Detector Dog Association says all K-9s must find cocaine and at least one other narcotic to become certified by their organization. Other narcotics may be but are not limited to marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, or opium.

One thing Hot Spring County’s narcotics dog will not do is assist the department in apprehending fugitives.

The training needed for a narcotics dog to become a full-fledged “police dog” is entirely different. Regardless, the training necessary for any K9 unit is rigorous.

Hot Springs County isn’t the first county in the region to implement a K9 unit. The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office employs two units – one for drugs and one to assist with arrests.

Fortunately, the new K9 unit can hit the ground running. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Riggs has completed the necessary training and is ready to join Deputy Cox on patrol.

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