Dog will be used for narcotics detection, missing persons
Deputies in Indian Trail will soon add another officer, except this one has long ears and fur.
Town council members heard a presentation from Sgt. Chase Coble during their March 29 meeting, explaining that a dog had been donated to the Union County Sheriff’s Office and he wanted permission to use him for a canine unit.
Indian Trail’s group of deputies already includes a certified canine officer, so there would be no increased cost to the town. Deputy Kenneth Sossoman, an Indian Trail native, transferred to the department about a year ago from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, where he served as a canine instructor and officer for 14 years, Coble said.
“We’ve tried to figure out a way to make the most of what we’ve got,” Coble said. “When Kenny first came to us, I said ‘Man, it would be great to get you a dog, because it’s like having Jeff Gordon without a race car.’”
Coble said that, while not included in the budget requests, a canine unit has been something Indian Trail deputies have wanted for a while.
The 9-month-old pup, named Nitro, would be used as a tracker in missing persons cases, as well as to search for narcotics. Having equipment already on hand with the sheriff’s office, in addition to an arrangement in place for food, will eliminate any expense to the town. Coble said normally a dog like Nitro would cost a town around $6,000.
“My first and foremost concern is if one of our kids gets away from us, time is of the essence,” Coble said, adding that the fact Sossaman lives in Indian Trail will help cut down on the response time.
Coble said he wasn’t looking for an aggressive biting dog with the Shepherd pup.
There are currently three other dogs assigned to patrol by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, the department has one dedicated to Union County schools and another on reserve.
Town councilman John Hullinger made the motion to add the canine, which was unanimously voted on by the council members. Hullinger said he recently rode with several deputies, which had a canine unit as backup. Hullinger said that when the deputy came upon a group of teens who were loitering and not cooperating, all it took was a mention that the dog could smell drugs to see a change.
“I’ve never seen kids all of a sudden become so cooperative,” Hullinger said.
With training already going on, Coble estimated it would be about four months before Nitro would be ready for duty.