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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, June 02, 2016, Pages 1 & 9

New K9 team for Ringgold County Sheriff's Department
Submitted by Ringgold County Sheriff's Office

The Ringgold County Sheriff's Office has a new K9 team: Ringgold County Deputy Landon White and his K9 Heky. Because of White's extensive experience in law enforcement and in working with canines, Sheriff Mike Sobotka chose him to be the Sheriff's Office's new canine handler.

Deputy White's law enforcement career began prior to enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. His combined law enforcement career experience, both military and civilian, totals more than 20 years.

Deputy White has more than 15 years of experience working with patrol/detection canines, including performing and assisting in numerous narcotics investigations. His canine career began while serving in the United States Marine Corps from 1986 = 1994, receiving extensive training in handling Patrol/Explosive Detector Dogs. Deputy White was selected as one of only three chosen from 18 Marines who interviewed for the Marine canine position. While serving in the Marine Corps, Deputy White performed duties as a dog handler, trainer, and kennel master (military working dog supervisor). He attended the Military Working Dog Supervisors Course graduating as a distinguished honor graduate.

As a K9 handler, Deputy White performed patrol duties responding to various types of calls for patrol and explosive detection. He conducted explosive sweeps for Air Force One, Secretary of Defense, Commandant of the Marine Corps and multiple visiting dignitaries from other countries, including generals and admirals.

He also performed many demonstrations and received multiple awards while competing in various competitions, winning awards with each of the previous four canines that he handled.

As a trainer, White was responsible for providing training to all K9 teams assigned to the base where he was stationed, providing training in patrol, narcotics detection, and explosive detection. As kennel master, Deputy White was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the K9 program at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina. With responsibility for coordinating all canine support tot he base including patrol, narcotics detection, and explosive detection, his duties included ensuring all training requirements were met, all canines maintained good health, and all kennel area maintenance/inspections were completed.

Prior to relocating in Ringgold County, Deputy White worked on the east coast at various federal facilities, providing explosive detection sweeps and serving as a trainer. He has worked and trained with dozens of teams over the years.

Deputy White is aware of the differences between working a bomb dog versus a drug dog. Simply stated, a bomb dog handler has zero margin for error because a bomb dog handler must be correct with each call or it could cost lives. Although a drug detection dog handler is allowed a greater margin of error, Deputy White prefers to train and work his Ringgold County dog in essentially the same manner, expecting a very high level of performance and accuracy.

The canine half of the team is Heky, a 23-month old German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois cross. He was purchased in Slovakia and imported by Excel K9 of Hiram, Ohio. Heky is certified in all aspects [Page 9] of patrol and narcotics detection. He is a high drive K9 and eager to work.

The Ringgold County Sheriff's Office looked at various kennels and canines before deciding to purchase a canine from Excel K9 and then selecting Heky. Because of his experience, Deputy White knew what he was looking for and what he wanted in his next K9 partner.

Heky was selected due to his drive for the ball and eagerness to work. Deputy White has seen great potential in this canine. Heky is young and still being shaped in some areas, but Deputy White has been impressed with the progress he has made. He has an excellent nose for drug work with a drive for the ball that is unbelievable. Heky has the same drive for patrol work. As potential dogs were evaluated, Deputy White wanted a dog that could be approachable by the public, and those who have met Heky know this to be true. A social dog that can turn on and off is what Deputy White wanted to find, and he found him in Heky.

Deputy Bo Greene participated in the evaluations of the potential canines, and he has commented that he could see a unique rapport between Deputy White and this canine. Heky appeared to choose Deputy White as much as Deputy White chose him.

Heky and Deputy White are certified in patrol and narcotics detection through the North American Police Work Dog Association and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

Since he joined the Ringgold County Sheriff's Office, Heky has been deployed numerous times and he has alerted on several occasions. Each time Heky has alerted, Deputy Whit has been able to substantiate the alert. Deputy White has made arrests and has active drug investigations pending because of Heky.

On one such deployment, Heky was credited with five finds. The deputy and dog team tracked to his residence one individual, who was preparing to break into a car. Since the crime was interrupted before it could happen, no charges could be filed. Still, White considers the incident a win for Heky and the citizens of Ringgold County.

The K9 team has also assisted neighboring counties. During one such call, they were requested to locate a suicidal male in possession of a shotgun. Heky did locate the subject in nearby woods, but the man had already taken his own life.

The Ringgold County Sheriff's Office will continue to utilized and deploy Heky at every opportunity. Heky has already proven himself to be an excellent drug detection K9. He will continue to excel throughout his career with the Ringgold County Sheriff's Office.

. . As the appellate courts establish new restrictions on the ability of law enforcement to utilize and deploy K9 units, Deputy White works with Ringgold County Attorney Clint Spurrier to ensure that he and Heky are working within these newly defined rules.

White these court rulings can make K9 deployments more difficult and challenging, a drug detection dog is still a very effective law enforcement tool, and his presence continues to be a determent to drug trafficking in the county. Even though Heky has many other duties, including search and rescue and officer protection, drug detection still remains the number one priority of the K9 program.

It is important to recognize the commitment of time and energy of the Ringgold County Sheriff's Office and Deputy White have made to provide the services of this K9 team to the people of this county. Deputy Landon White works hard to continue training Heky and hone his skills. This is a commitment that does not come without sacrifice. Accepting the reponsibililty of another K9 is a substantial personal commitment, and it is something Landon and Dawn, his wife of 30 years, thoroughly discussed prior to making this decision. Dawn has been very supportive. From past experience, she knew the commitment it would take, but she also realized the valuable service this K9 team could provide to the community, particularly in light of Deputy White's training and experience.

If anyone would like to learn more about Heky, Deputy White welcomes any questions and is always willing to talk to anyone who would like more information about Heky.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, November 03, 2016, Page 11

Ringgold K-9 assists Clarke County

Ringgold County sheriff's deputy Landon White and his K-9 Heky assisted Clarke County sheriff's authorities in a recent traffic stop that resulted in a drug arrest.

According to a press release from the Ringgold County Sheriff's Office, White and Heky were called to Mile Marker 19 on Interstate 35 at approximately 8:30 p.m. August 31 where Clarke officials had stopped a vehicle for a minor traffic violation.

Following the deployment of K-9 Heky, a search of the vehicle turned up three pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $33,000.

A Missouri resident was arrested at the scene and charges with the drug offense. Further narcotics investigation of the incident is ongoing.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, November 24, 2016, Page 2

RCSO, K-9 aid in Decatur arrest

Ringgold County deputy sheriff Landon White and K-9 Heky were instrumental in the arrest of a Decatur County man recently.

According to the incident report, law enforcement from the Leon Police Department, Lamoni Police Department and the Decatur County Sheriff's Office had determined that Dale Walker of Leon was hiding in the attic of a residence.

After unsuccessful attempt to get Walker to come down from the attic, Deputy White and Heky responded to the address after which Walker was apprehended.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2017

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, December 01, 2016, Page 4

K-9 involved in four local drug arrests

K-9 Heky was instrumental in four drug-related arrests in the past week.

According to the incident report from the Ringgold County Sheriff's Office, on Wednesday, November 23 de[uties conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of 150th Street and 270th Avenue south of Tingley. Upon Heky's arrival he alerted on the pickup truck, and a subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered four ounces of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. [names withheld] were arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver and failure to affix a drug tax stamp.

The following day, Thursday, November 24, deputies conducted a search of a residence in Mount Ayr and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. K-9 Heky conducted a further sniff search of the property and found methamphetamine and more drug paraphernalia. A further search also uncovered prescription pills, anabolic steroids and THC oil.

[name withheld] was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. [name withheld] was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance - methamphetamine, marijuana, controlled substance violation anabolic steroid and unlawful possession of prescription pills.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2017

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