FCSO Canine Unit (K-9)
Canine Memorial Park
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In 1999 the Flagler County Sheriff's Office adopted the training standards that were brought to the United States from Germany in 1986 by Mr. Wendell Nope. Mr. Nope had studied and achieved the level of Teaching Judge after attending the German Training Program known as PsP. Lt. Birdsong was the first Flagler County handler to be certified as a PsP handler under this system, when he attended training through the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
The Flagler County K-9 Unit uses the PsP selection test when choosing new K-9's to join the unit. The K-9's are then matched with a handler to be trained as a patrol / narcotics or patrol / explosive K-9 team. Once selected the team undergoes 200 hours of training for narcotics detection or 600 hours of training for explosive detection. After completing this phase the K-9 team is evaluated and tested / certified by a PsP Judge.
The K-9 team then completes 600 hours of training to achieve the level of State Certified K-9 Team and PsP Certified Dog Team. During this training the disciplines of area search, apprehension, article recovery, building search, tracking and obedience are taught. This training program also includes extensive handler training through written testing and term papers. This course requires the handler to achieve a passing score of 80% on all phases. Failure to obtain this score results in the handler being removed from the program.
After completion of the initial certification all K-9 teams complete 16 hours of monthly maintenance training. The teams then re-certify annually through written and practical testing. Cpl. Jamie Roster whom has reached the level of FDLE State Certified Trainer and PsP Trainer is responsible for the training of the K-9 teams.
Lt. Steve Birdsong (call sign K9-1) pictured with his canine partner Kaos (a Belgian Malinois), joined the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in 1997 after serving eight years as a military police officer in the United States Army. During this time he obtained his AA degree in management. He joined the K-9 Unit in 1999 and became the first PsP certified Patrol / Narcotics detection handler within the agency. He previously served on S.W.A.T. and is handling his third K-9 while he fulfills his duties as the Watch Commander for Delta Squad.
Cpl. Jamie Roster (call sign K9-2) pictured with his canine partner Repo (a Belgian Malinois),, joined the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in 2002. He previously served six years in the United States Air Force. Before joining the department. Cpl. Roster handled Bloodhounds for the agency on a volunteer basis. Cpl. Roster is a state certified trainer and the first certified PsP trainer within the agency, in the areas of Patrol / Narcotics and Explosives. Cpl. Roster previously served on S.W.A.T and has extensive training in the area of contraband and concealment. He is currently the K-9 Unit Trainer and handling his second K-9.
Deputy Fred Smith (call sign K9-3) pictured with his canine partner Arko (a Belgian Malinois), , joined the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in 1998. He was previously assigned to the narcotics unit for six years at which time he worked with the Tri-County Narcotics Task Force. Deputy Smith joined the K-9 unit in 2007 and is a PsP certified handler. He previously served as a member of S.W.A.T and handles a Patrol / Narcotics detection K-9 for Bravo and Delta Squad.
“TAG” is a 2 year old German Shepherd. “TAG” started his career as a young pup in July of 2011 at 13 months old. “TAG” finished his narcotics school and patrol school in December of 2011 at 18 months old. “TAG” hit the streets running and proved to be a successful Police Service Dog despite his young age. “TAG” enjoys to dig holes in the back yard and swimming in his off time.
Deputy Dominic Guida (call sign K9-4) pictured with his canine partner Char, (a 2.5 year old Czech Shepard) is our home town boy. He graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School in 1997. Dep. Guida joined the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in 2003 after spending a year with the Daytona Beach Police Department. Deputy Guida previously served as a patrol deputy and Field Training Officer before being selected to the K-9 unit in 2007. Deputy Guida is a PsP certified handler and currently handles a Patrol / Narcotics detection K-9 for Alpha / Charlie Squad.
Char is a 2.5 year old Czech Shepard was born Dec 29 2009. He also weighs 80 lbs. He came here on April 19, 2011 and we hit the streets in Dec 2011. He enjoys long walks on the beach, intimate talks, box wine and his sign is Capricorn.
Deputy Jon Welker (call sign K9-5) pictured with his canine partner Blu’ (a Belgian Malinois). Deputy Welker joined the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in 2007 after spending twelve years with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, four years as a K-9 Officer. Deputy Welker previously served as a patrol deputy with Charlie squad before being selected to the K-9 unit in 2009 . Deputy Welker is a PsP certified handler and currently handles a Patrol/ Narcotics detection K-9 for Alph/Charlie Squad rotation
Deputy Joe Dailey (call sign K9-6) pictured with his canine partner Reno (a Belgian Malinois/ Shepherd mix). Deputy Dailey joined the Flagler County Sheriff's Office in 2007 after spending three years with the Lake Worth Police Department. Dep. Dailey previously served as a patrol deputy with Delta squad before being selected to the K-9 unit in 2009 . Deputy Dailey is a PsP certified handler and currently handles a Patrol/ Narcotics detection K-9 for Bravo/Delta Squad rotation.