Waller County increasing number of K9 officers

By R. Hans Miller, News Editor
Posted 11/12/21

Waller County Sheriff’s Department Deputy D’Arrell Mosley said the law enforcement agency is expanding its K9 program under the leadership of Sheriff Troy Guidry at a West I-10 Chamber of …

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Waller County increasing number of K9 officers

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Waller County Sheriff’s Department Deputy D’Arrell Mosley said the law enforcement agency is expanding its K9 program under the leadership of Sheriff Troy Guidry at a West I-10 Chamber of Commerce meeting earlier this week.

“When I came to the agency, they’d just gone to two units and were bringing on a third,” Mosley said during a Tuesday meeting of the West I-10 Chamber of Commerce in Brookshire. “And then I became the fourth since I had a dog already. Our goal with bringing on more (K9) deputies is to eventually maybe get about six canine teams.”

Mosley is a veteran who had learned to work with trained dogs while in the military and took that expertise out into the civilian world when he became a police officer, he said. The dog he served with in the military has since been retired due to his age causing back issues, Mosley said, so now Mosley works with Danny, a K9 deputy that is about 3 years old. With his experience working with trained dogs, Guidry appointed him as the trainer for the WCSO K9 Unit.

“(Guidry) told me, ‘Hey, do what you know how to do. Get these guys right and set them set up for success,’” Mosley said.

Mosley said he is working on accomplishing that and that success for the program involves a few factors. First, the department will need to expand the number of four-legged officers and handlers that it has, he said. Currently, the workload is quite high for Mosley, Danny and the three other handler-and-dog teams in the department. From July 25 to Oct. 31, the team responded to 3,162 incidences that included narcotics busts, fleeing suspects, accompanying officers on high-risk warrant calls and simple community engagement events, he said. In Waller County alone, the team covers about 500 square miles of territory; however, they serve a much larger area than that. The four K9 teams respond to mutual aid requests in surrounding counties and requests from state and federal law enforcement agencies, he said. Adding new officers will also help increase crime prevention efforts as well.

“I’m getting (the K9 team) more into interdiction and high-risk traffic stops,” Mosley said.

He explained that interdiction is when a law enforcement officer monitors a roadway for suspicious vehicles. As an officer monitors traffic, they keep an eye out for signs of human trafficking, narcotics smuggling and weapons running, among other offenses. By taking a proactive approach, the goal is to save lives before drugs, weapons or the tragedy of being trafficked takes a person’s life, Mosley said.

Having a K9 officer on those high-risk calls helps protect the lives of law enforcement officers, Mosley said. While a person cannot see through a wall or may miss a suspect in hiding, the dog can smell a hidden individual, device or substance that may put the officer in danger and can raise the alarm.

“The dog can smell through the door and they can tell us, ‘Ok. Hey, there’s a person in here,’ so that we can talk them out as opposed to someone opening a door and now you’re face-to-face with somebody that you don’t want to be face-to-face with,” Mosley said.

Chamber member Johnny Nimmons said the community could support the K9 unit by establishing fundraisers for equipment to protect the K9 officers. He said he had spoken with Guidry and the department had not yet been able to purchase protective vests for the dogs. Nimmons said his wife had spent her own money to ensure each officer had a first aid kit for their four-legged partner.

During his time as a K9 officer, Mosley said he’s been able to find marijuana, mushrooms, heroin, methamphetamine, weapons and criminally-obtained cash as a result of working with his four-legged partners. He added that he and his fellow deputies love their jobs and working with the animals to serve the community. While he says Guidry favors a Malinois or mix of that breed, he has another preference, he said.

“I’m a (German) Shepherd person, myself,” Mosley said. “I love them. I think they’re geniuses. They’re very, very smart dogs, so I’m very, very biased towards German Shepherds.”

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