Meet new DCSO deputies: Getting 'ruff' with drug dealers

Deputy First Class Dustin Baker with Liberty (left), DeSoto Sheriff James Potter and Detective Christian Friend and Kita at the sheriff’s office in DeSoto County.

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office has added two new deputies to its roster: K-9 Deputy Kita and K-9 Deputy Liberty. Both are Belgian Malinois, a breed known for its intelligence, intensity, and incredible work ethic.

Detective Christian Friend is Kita’s handler, and Deputy First Class Dustin Baker handles Liberty. After obtaining over 400 combined hours of training, through various methods including “imprinting” and “hides” (where known narcotics are hidden in various locations throughout a closed course), Kita and Liberty became certified as Law Enforcement Canines by the National Police Canine Association. The K-9s and their handlers continue their training weekly to ensure they stay up to date with current drug trends and the needs of our community.

Having these K-9s is an invaluable resource for DCSO deputies and detectives in both preventing dangerous drugs from entering DeSoto County, and for tracking lost or missing persons and wanted felons. Both K-9s have hit the ground running, and have already alerted to vehicles in DeSoto County which led to narcotics arrests.

Kita and Liberty are not only helping prevent drugs from entering DeSoto County, but they are also working tirelessly to seek out and remove narcotics already present. The addition of the new K-9s has won widespread approval among the public as evidenced by comments on the DCSO Facebook page. Kita and Liberty are just the first K-9 additions to the Sheriff’s Office, and there might be more in the future. These new K-9 Units are part of my commitment to “Keep DeSoto County Safe”!

When not running tracks and locating narcotics, Kita and Liberty enjoy long walks and playing fetch with their Kong toys.


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