The newest member of the Moody County Sheriff’s Department is now in the county.
Spike, a Belgian Malinois, was brought from Alabama to his new home in Moody County with Deputy Tom Klein just over a week ago. The two are now going through a six-week training class together in Sioux Falls to learn how they can best partner on calls in the county.
“With the retirement of Two Socks (Flandreau’s most recent K9 unit), we felt it was important for the county as a whole, with law enforcement, to have a dog,” said Sheriff Troy Wellman.
“Ours will be a dual purpose dog, so he will be a drug dog and a patrol service dog. In other words, he can be let out if there’s a fight or if somebody is struggling with an officer. Or, we can send him in with commands to clear a room where it will eliminate some officer safety issues.”
Flandreau City Police have also recently been looking at the opportunity for another K9 unit. City Administrator Cohl Turnquist said on Monday that the City still plans to pursue funding through the State Drug Fund for a new police dog. There is funding included in the 2023 budget for the purchase of the dog, which will be reimbursed by the State of South Dakota.
Spike is still in need of some tactical gear — the department is searching yet for a bullet-proof vest for him. Wellman said they weren’t quite prepared yet as their newest team member arrived about five weeks sooner than expected.
Spike, like most K9 units anymore, is trained in narcotics but not marijuana. Part of the reason Two Socks was retired, in fact, Wellman said, is that dogs trained in marijuana are almost rendered ineffective given the proliferation of marijuana and its legalization.