In February of 1985, the Sheriff’s Department recognized the need to initiate a K-9 program. This program has significantly reduced the man-hours used searching for suspects, evidence and narcotics. Officer Safety has also been significantly impacted by the implementation of a K-9 Unit. Eight deputies and their canine partners currently provide coverage within the County. Their high-visibility acts as a powerful deterrent for criminal activity. High levels of training and commitment of the canine deputies, has established this Unit as one of the most highly respected in the state.
With the utilization of just one dog team, the Department is able to reduce the manpower needed to search large building and open rural areas, by over 50%. Additional benefits are the reduction in property loss and injuries to deputies as well as, an increase in the number of arrests of subjects who were in the act of committing crimes.
Sgt. Sean Hilliard & K9 Victor
Deputy Hilliard was selected to the OCSD Patrol K9 unit in May of 2007. Deputy Hilliard and K9 Victor graduated the Patrol Canine Academy in June 2007 and were assigned to the city of Dana Point. K9 Victor is a black and tan Belgian Malinois dog bred and imported from HollandK9 Victor was a very strong willed and powerful dog and Deputy Hilliard had to become an animal trainer and good K9 handler fast. K9 Victor was trained in suspect searches, article searches and drug detection. Together Deputy Hilliard and K9 Victor conducted approximately 250 suspect searches. During these searches Victor located or apprehended 24 suspects, found handguns and others weapons used in crimes and recovered several items of stolen property. Many of K9 Victor’s searches were during High Risk SWAT Deployments. K9 Victor was an accomplished drug detection dog and located approximately 10 pounds of Marijuana, three ounces of Methamphetamine, forty kilograms of Cocaine, an ounce of Heroin, 2000 MDMA pills and over $240,000.00 of drug related currency. Deputy Hilliard promoted to Sergeant in June of 2013 and K9 Victor retired from service and now enjoys going boating on “the river” and the RV’ing in the desert.
Sgt. Dean Weckerle & K9 Jari
Deputy Weckerle was selected to the OCSD Patrol K9 unit in June of 2010. Deputy Weckerle and K9 Jari graduated the Patrol Canine Academy in July 2010 and were assigned to North Operations. Jari was known for his speed and athleticism. He was usually trying to outwit and out maneuver his handler and anyone else who assisted in training him. K9 Jari was trained in suspect searches, article searches and drug detection. Together Deputy Weckerle and K9 Jari conducted approximately 150 suspect searches. During these searches 21 suspects surrendered because of Jari and were taken into custody. Although Jari was only drug trained for a short time he was very successful and assisted in the seizure of over 40 pounds of illegal narcotics, and over $100K in U.S. Currency. Deputy Weckerle promoted to Sergeant in August of 2013 and K9 Jari is retired. His service was within the highest standards of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. We wish him well in his retirement.
All canines are purchased through donations from the public. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Sheriff’s Advisory Council to support the K-9 Unit, please contact Executive Director Marilyn MacDougall at 714-647-4135.