The Talbot County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit was re-established in 2015 under the direction of Sheriff Joe Gamble, fulfilling a campaign promise to help fight the ever-increasing drug problem in our County. The Unit began with one “K-9 team” working a rotating shift concentrating on drug interdiction. Over the years, the Unit has grown to five K-9 teams, each assigned to a patrol group increasing their availability, not only to our Office, but also to surrounding jurisdictions and drug task forces. To date, our K-9 teams have responded to over 600 deployments with more than 500 drug locates, successful human tracks and criminal apprehensions.
The Unit is well rounded, including drug detection, human scent tracking, article tracking and full service patrol dogs. All K-9s live with their handler and families, with the handler accepting responsibility for the day-to-day care of each K-9.
The K-9 teams receive numerous hours of specialized training, with mandated monthly training, and required certification through the Maryland State Police. Our K-9 teams are re-certified yearly, acquiring their accreditation to operate in Maryland through the International Police Work Dog Association.
The Talbot County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the many generous donors in our community for supporting our K-9 teams.
Sgt. Joseph Timms and K-9 Raven were teamed in 2015, with Raven being purchased with locally donated funds through K-2 Solutions of Jackson Springs, North Carolina. Raven is a Black Labrador Retriever born on September 4, 2013. K-2 Solutions trained raven in narcotics detection, with the mandated 240 hours of team training supplied by Strikepoint Consultants. Sgt. Timms has been a police officer for 17 years and is the current K-9 supervisor, earning the rank of Sergeant in 2019. Raven is a local favorite and shines at community events, but do not be fooled by her pleasant personality, if you are transporting drugs in Talbot County, Raven will find them. When off duty, Raven lives with Sgt. Timms and his family in Talbot County.
Cpl. Jeff Smith and K-9 Chief were teamed in June 2020, with Chief being purchased with locally donated funds through K-2 Solutions of Jackson Springs, North Carolina. Chief is a Chocolate Labrador Retriever born on March 30, 2019. Chief received the majority of his training at K-2 Solutions, with Cpl. Smith and Chief completing the mandated 240 hours of training together with a local trainer. Cpl. Smith has been a police officer for over twenty years, with three local police agencies, with previous K-9 experience at another agency. Chief is trained in narcotics detection and human scent tracking. When K-9 Chief is not working he lives in Talbot County with Cpl. Smith and his family.
DFC Brittanie DiMichele and K-9 Buc were teamed in March 2020, with Buc being purchased with locally donated funds through K-2 Solutions of Jackson Springs, North Carolina. Buc is a Chocolate Labrador Retriever born on August 2, 2018. Buc was trained in drug detection and human scent tracking by K2 Solutions, and was handpicked by our in-house trainer, Christina McCauley, owner/trainer of Strikepoint Consultants. DFC DiMichele and K-9 Buc participated in a six-week handler training course with Strikepoint, completing our mandated 240 hours of training as a team. DFC DiMichele and Buc continue to work together adding article searches to his already impressive credentials. DFC DiMichele has been a police officer for 11 years with the majority of that time spent with the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, other than a brief hiatus with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Buc loves to play in the water, fetch, and extra snuggles. His favorite treat while working is a pup cup from Rise Up. Buc loves to play chase with his little sister, Demi at home on his off days. Buc absolutely loves going to community events and meeting new people; his favorite are the little humans. Buc loves coming to work every day, keeping his community safe by getting drugs off the streets..
DFC Jerry Stivers and K-9 Rex were teamed in 2018, with Rex imported into the United States from Czechoslovakia. Rex is a Belgian Malinois born on March 17, 2017. Rex received his initial training at Delmarva K-9 LLC, a local K-9 vendor on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. DFC Stivers and Rex completed an intense training course to meet the standards for a patrol/narcotics team in Maryland. Rex is certified in building searches, area searches, handler protection, suspect apprehension, tracking, narcotics detection and tactical obedience. DFC Stivers has been a police officer for 16 years in both Caroline and Talbot Counties, with a majority of that time assigned as a K-9 handler. Rex, one of two full service dogs, is not the cuddliest of our K-9s, but he has proven many times to be a great asset to this office getting illegal drugs off the streets. When off duty, Rex lives with DFC Stivers and his family at their Caroline County residence.
DFC Donald (DJ) Johnson and K9 Kato were teamed in 2021, with Kato imported from Germany. Kato originally worked for the Easton Police Department and was purchased by TCSO when his handler retired. Kato is a German Shepherd born on August 9, 2017. DFC Johnson and Kato were recently re-certified through the State of Maryland and M.P.T.S.C. (Wor-Wic Community College). Kato is certified in controlled dangerous substance detection, tracking, criminal apprehension, building search, area search, and handler protection. Kato lives with DFC Johnson and his family in Talbot County, with some of his favorite activities being playing fetch with his Red Kong and wearing his sunglasses.