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Yuma Sector canine instructors train new YCSO dog

Release Date: 
April 26, 2021
YCSO Canine Kass
Yuma County Sheriff's Office Canine Kass

YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma Sector Border Patrol Canine Unit has had a close working relationship with the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office for as long as Mark Sims can remember.

Sims, the canine unit’s special operations supervisor, said a recent opportunity to select and train YCSO’s newest four-legged partner has even further bonded the two law enforcement agencies.

“This is the first time we are doing pre-training locally for an outside agency,” Sims said, adding that typically YCSO would purchase a dog from a commercial vendor at the Customs and Border Protection Canine Center in El Paso, and the dog would be trained there.

Due to the Covid pandemic, CCEP was not able to provide YCSO with a canine, so YCSO sought their own vendor and selected their newest canine with the help of Yuma Sector’s canine unit.

 “We are talking about engaging with our stakeholders and this is a way we can help,” Sims said.

Two of the Border Patrol canine unit’s instructors, Agents Jeremy Kite and Dennis Crumby, and William Rice, a YCSO deputy and canine handler, visited a police dog vendor in California and made their selection after evaluating six different dogs. They selected a three-year-old male Belgian Malinois named Kass.

“We did a series of tests that determine whether or not the dog is suitable for detection,” said Kite. “[Kass] showed the most amount of drive of all the dogs we selection tested.” 

Although Kass will be Deputy Rice’s third canine partner, he said this is the first time he has been involved in the selection process. And he was glad to have the help of Kite and Crumby.

“This was a new experience and having them assist with selecting a new dog was extremely helpful,” Rice said. “They were looking for the best dog we could possibly get.”

In addition to helping select the canine, Kite and Crumby are conducting all of Kass’s pre-training.

“We’re imprinting the odors that we want the dog to learn in all the different types of environments the dog will be exposed to,” Crumby said.

Canine Kass in training.
Canine Kass in training.

Crumby said during the pre-training, which lasts five to six weeks, Kass is being trained to detect the odors of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.

“We will run the dog in a variety of search scenarios that mimic real-life situations,” Crumby said. “Once we see the dog performing proficiently in these areas then he will be ready for the handler to come in and start training with him.”

When the pre-training is complete, Rice will take Kass to CCEP and they will complete the canine training program as a team. After they certify as a team, Rice and Kass will return to Yuma to serve our community. The team will also continue to work with the Yuma Sector Canine Unit, doing maintenance training every two weeks.

“I think it’s great to be part of the process from the beginning all the way to the finished product,” Kite said.


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Last modified: 
April 26, 2021