Operations have been running smoothly with the Nodaway County K-9 Unit after changes were made in early 2017.

The Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office first implemented a K-9 program in 2009 under then sheriff Darren White. The department’s first drug dog was Jerik, a yellow lab who specialized in narcotics detection. Jerik’s time sniffing out crime in northwest Missouri came to an end near the beginning of this year when he went into retirement at the start of current sheriff Randy Strong’s first term as department head.

Strong tells KMA News that Jerik was a valued member of the sheriff’s office.

“We retired Jerik early into my time as sheriff here after January 1st,” Strong said. “Jerik was reaching the age where he was having some problems.”

The K-9 Unit, which is handled by Nodaway County Sergeant Austin Hann, is now operated under K-9 Bolt. Purchased at the beginning of the year, Strong says the two-year-old Bolt has expanded the use of the county’s K-9 Unit.

“We replaced Jerik with Bolt,” Strong said. “He’s a German Shepherd dog. Bolt has been trained to not only track and detect narcotics, but he is also there for officer protection too. He is a dual-purpose dog and he’s working out really well.”

For Jerik’s retirement life, Strong says he was taken in by Sergeant Hann’s family on a permanent basis.

As with every law enforcement agency who implements a K-9 program, appropriate funding is needed to maintain the resource. Strong says the K-9 Unit in Nodaway County is funded entirely on donations from the public.

“We have another sale coming up to raise money to keep the program going,” Strong said. “We are pretty excited about that.”

The next fundraiser for K-9 Bolt is the 8th annual K-9 Garage Sale. The event will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 25th and Saturday, August 26th at the Younger Auction Gallery — located at 312 East South Hills Drive in Maryville. The sheriff’s office is currently seeking donations for sellable items. All proceeds from the event will go to expenses for K-9 Bolt.

For more information on how to donate, contact Sergeant Austin Hann at 660-582-7451.

By Brent Barnett | KMA Land 960 AM and 99.1 FM