K9 Unit Provides Keen Nose for Sheriff’s Office

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office responds to a plethora of different calls every day. Some of them are routine, while others are a bit more complicated. Deputy Justin Weisbecker is a K9 handler, and he says his companion Koda sees quite a bit of action. 

Weisbecker tells us they respond to incidents “I would say almost on a daily basis. Sometimes we go a couple days without doing anything, and sometimes I’ll utilize him 3, 4, 5 times during a shift. It really depends on the call volume and what comes up during a shift.”

He adds that they help out other officers around the county when there are questions about what may be going on. 

Weisbecker says “a lot of times, we get called over when another officer – it could be a deputy from our sheriff’s office, it could be a state patrol, City of Fond du Lac or any other agency in Fond du Lac County – they’ll call and request a K9 if they’re seeing something that there may potentially be narcotics inside the car. So they’ll call us over and then I’ll do what’s called an exterior K9 sniff.”

Dogs have a much sharper sense of smell than humans, which allows them to easily smell what is all in a vehicle. 

Weisbecker says “we don’t sniff the inside of the vehicle, we just sniff the exterior of it. A lot of times these substances are packaged two or three times where it’s in a plastic bag inside a wallet inside a purse. And he’s able to detect that.”

He also points out that Koda is able to smell the changes that happen to the ground during the tracking of a suspect – saying that a person running through the grass creates a scent for a dog that would be similar to a freshly cut lawn for humans. He adds that Koda is also able to use that scent and track it down, in some cases, to the suspect’s front door.