Students from Carroll, Kuemper and several area high schools were invited to the annual fair.
Students from Carroll, Kuemper and several area high schools were invited to the annual fair.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Carroll County Sheriff’s deputy will train for three weeks next month with a new dog that will aid the searches for drugs and missing people in the county.

Deputy Jon Cretsinger has raised about $8,200 to pay for the dog, Ike, a Belgian Malinois shepherd, that will live and work with him starting later this year.

The dog is already trained to detect drugs and track people. Cretsinger will travel to Fort Dodge to train as the dog’s handler in November.

“It’s a great tool for the department to have,” Cretsinger has said.

County K-9 programs come and go as dogs age and officers retire or move to other jobs. Carroll County had a K-9 program that ended when its handler, Chief Deputy Ken Pingrey, was promoted to chief deputy in 2007.

Cretsinger seeks donations from residents and businesses to resurrect the program — with a goal of $10,000. His efforts were aided by a $1,000 donation today from the Haggai Masonic Lodge of Glidden. Cretsinger said at least two dozen residents gave smaller amounts of money in the past few months.

The program is important for Carroll, in part, because drug traffickers who have been caught in recent years on Interstate Highway 80 have begun to use other routes — such as U.S. Highways 30 and 71 — to move drugs across the country.

Deputies can use a drug-sniffing dog to detect marijuana and methamphetamine from outside the vehicle if a driver refuses a request to search the inside of the vehicle. Further, the dogs aid officers when they search houses with warrants.

The Carroll Police Department has had two K-9 dogs, starting in 1998 and 2005. Both times the programs ended because the officer who handled the animal left for another job, police Chief Jeff Cayler has said.

His department has used dogs from nearby law-enforcement agencies, such as the Audubon County Sheriff’s office, in recent years, but those programs have ceased.