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Tuesday, 01 August 2017 12:29

Walworth County K-9 Unit gets new team

Written by  CSI Media Staff

ELKHORN—The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office’s newest K-9 team  is Walworth County Deputy Josh Adams and his canine partner, Klaas, according to a release from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

Adams and Klass recently completed a comprehensive 260 hour course and are now working the streets of Walworth County. They were trained in the areas of obedience, apprehension work, drug detection, tracking, and K-9 case law. During the training the team was certified in drug detection by K-9 Services of Albuquerque, New Mexico and will attend patrol certification this fall, according to the release.

Adams was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2009. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the Blackhawk Technical College Police Recruit Academy.

Prior to his employment with the sheriff’s office, he worked for the cities of Delavan, Lake Geneva and Whitewater police departments. During his time with the sheriff’s office he served as a field training officer, SWAT and dive team member, and motorcycle officer. With his appointment to the K-9 Unit, Adams resigned from those positions to concentrate on becoming a fully focused K-9 handler.

Adams replaces Deputy Jason Hintz, who was a 15 year veteran of the K-9 Unit and received a distinguished service award earlier this year. During his tenure with the unit Hintz worked with two K-9 partners. He started with Beno in 2002 until his retirement in 2009. At that time Hintz was paired with his new partner, Ajax, and worked until January of this year. Because of health reasons, Ajax had to be replaced. Due to family commitments and the amount of time needed for the K-9 program, Hintz felt it was time to resign as a K-9 Unit handler. Hintz will remain connected to the program as a mentor to Adams and occasionally assisting with ongoing training, according to the release.

The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office has a distinct advantage over most U.S. law enforcement agencies in that all the selection of K-9 handlers, dogs, and training are done in-house, according to the release. 
Walworth County Deputy Bob Wierenga, who has been a handler for 27 years, and is currently working with his fourth K-9 partner, began training police service dogs 25 years ago. He has brought his expertise to the sheriff’s office K-9 program.

Over the 25 years, he has trained eight K-9’s for the sheriff’s office. Seven of those K-9’s were from his breeding program or imported from the Netherlands. Wierenga has trained with both nationally and internationally recognized police service dog trainers and is well recognized in Wisconsin for his expertise in K-9 training, according to the release.

Detective Mike Banaczynski was the first K-9 handler and began his career with his partner Andor. When Andor retired, Banaczynski began working with Lugar. In 2002, Banaczynski took a sergeant promotion and left the K-9 Unit.

Sergeant Ken Brand currently serves as the K9 Unit coordinator.

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