Smith County Sheriff’s Office debuts newest K-9 deputy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith County Sheriff’s Office debuts newest K-9 deputy

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

The Smith County's Sheriff's K-9 Unit debuted its newest deputy Saturday.

Joker is a year and half year Belgian Malinois, and he's the department’s third K-9.

Deputies said the work of these K-9's are crucial to the department's success.

Joker and his handler Juan Cervantes are still bonding and perfecting commands. The pair just finished three weeks of training and certification in Austin.

"Apprehension, narcotics finds and we just did a lot of playing, trying to bond," said Deputy Cervantes.

Joker is the product of a grant the Smith County Sheriff's Office received from K-9 officers organization. He was paired with Deputy Cervantes.

"He comes home with me and is pretty much with me 24/7," Cervantes said.

Cervantes has been with the department for eight years and a K-9 deputy for three weeks.

"When I was working as a detective we work very closely with our K-9 unit and it was just something that caught my attention and fascinated me," Cervantes said.

Joker is the third addition to the Sheriff's K-9 unit and each K-9 deputy is unique.

"Some dogs are in Czech, some dogs are in German, some dogs are Dutch they use different languages it just really depends on what part of the world your dog comes from," said K-9 Deputy Corey Cameron.

Cervantes said their use in the field, specifically their ability to detect narcotics is invaluable.

"I believe narcotics are the root to all crime that's where we get our burglaries, our robberies and are violent crimes and its neat to have them and use them," Cervantes said.

He says even though he's Joker's handler, Joker is in command.

 "When they are out they are the boss," Cervantes said.

Joker and Deputy Cervantes are certified in the detection of narcotics, tracking of persons, and patrol work.

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