Changes are Coming!
Standby for traffic - the Sheriff's Office is awaiting the arrival of it's newest K-9, Zeus! Currently in Florida at the Excelsior K9 training academy, Zeus is a fifteen-month old German Shepard who already excels as an intelligent, sociable, and eager-to-perform working dog. Master Deputy Lutz is currently with him as they train to take over the duties once admirably performed by Rexi. Here is a sneak peak of Zeus:
More pictures to come as Zeus advances through his training.
Rexi & Duke
Meet Rexi, Gloucester County's most popular Deputy! Rexi is a seven-year old male Sable German Shepard who came to us through the "K9's 4 Cops" grant program in 2015. He is an Afghanistan war veteran, where he served for three years in various capacities. Rexi is a multi-talented dog, who is certified in Obedience, Tracking, Area Search, Narcotics Search, Article Search, and Aggression Control. Sadly, due to a medical condition, Rexi entered into retirement in December of 2018.
Duke is just barely a year old and is the newest member of our K-9 team. Donated to our office in 2017 at the age of twelve weeks, Duke is a Bloodhound and is commonly used for scent tracking.
The use of canines in law enforcement has a long history, dating back to the 1800s, and the services they have supplied have been varied and noteworthy. With their commanding presence, highly tuned senses, and willingness to learn, police dogs have found themselves trained for patrol work, search and rescue situations, arson investigations, suspect apprehension, and much more. The use of dogs in police work increased in the United States since the 1970's, and their presence can be seen at the federal, state, and local law enforcement levels. Demand for their services has only increased in the modern era of public safety. Throughout this time, popular police dog breeds have included:
- Belgian Malinois
- Doberman Pinschers
- Dutch Shepherds
- Labrador Retrievers
- Basset Hounds
- German Shepherds
After Rexi joined the office, he and his handler Master Deputy Phil Lutz attended six weeks of intense training at the Southern Coast K9 Training Center, located near Dayton Beach in Florida. Here they received their National Certification as a “Police Working Dog” team, which assists in giving them judicial credibility when it comes to the prosecution of their cases. In March of 2017, they both obtained an additional certification through the American Society of Canine Trainers - a national and internationally recognized organization that provides services in America and abroad. Duke obtained his certification at six months of age through the American Society of Canine Trainers: he provides scent specific tracking and trailing.
Both dogs receive continuous instruction - some sort of training nearly every day is the norm. Between them both, they have over 800 hours of training, with Duke possessing just over 300 hours himself at his young age. Both Rexi and Duke test annually in their respective disciplines to maintain their certifications.
In the short period of time that Rexi has been deployed in Gloucester (June 2015), he has had a paw in the recovery of just over $16,000 in illegal contraband. He has participated in both missing persons and suspect tracks - in fact, he has conducted over 70 suspect tracks, covered more than 23 miles, and his work resulted in five apprehensions of wanted persons and led to the identification of suspects in crimes. He has also assisted in community service initiatives, and has demonstrated his skills for the Boys and Girls Club, the Gloucester Kennel Club, and during our own Daffodil Festival. As an unofficial ambassador for the agency, his personality and interactions with the public help dispel the myth of the aggressive police attack dog.
Duke, still new to his profession, had been deployed over 40 times for search and rescue and criminal tracks: this includes such serious crimes as burglary and homicide investigations.
In 2016, Deputy Rexi was one of 350 working dogs who received a ballistic and stab resistant vest from the non-profit group Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc. Based out of East Taunton, Massachusetts, the charity’s mission is to help protect the dogs that serve in communities across the United States. We are very thankful and grateful for their gift of protection for our favorite deputy.
For further information about Depuies Rexi or Duke or our K-9 Program, please email Sergeant Brad Simmons.