Staff Report

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has added a new K-9 officer to help find and eliminate illegal drugs in the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Krypto, a 14-month-old, high-energy black Labrador, started his new assignment the first week of July with his handler, Custody Deputy Ian Ur.

The purchase of Krypto was made possible by funding from the Project Deputy Dog program of the nonprofit Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse (SBP).

The posse is made up of volunteers throughout the county who donate their time and effort to help the Sheriff’s Office fill needs not funded by the county budget.

The group saw a specific need to fund the Sheriff’s K-9 program, so it started the Project Deputy Dog campaign in early 2017.  Purchasing a jail narcotics K-9 was the project’s first objective.

“Having a dedicated narcotics K-9 team is an efficient and effective way to help eliminate drugs from the facility which as a result creates a safer environment for both inmates and staff as well reduces criminal activity both inside out outside the facility. As a dog lover, this is an easy program to support,” said SBP board member Susan Pohls.

Krypto is trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and methamphetamine.  He is also certified on building, car and open-area searches.

Krypto was born on April 5, 2017, and was one of eight puppies in his litter. He was given the name Krypto, the name of Superman’s dog, because of the drive and confidence he displayed as a puppy.

Ur and Krypto will also work at the Santa Maria Northern Branch Jail when it opens in the summer of 2019.

Project Deputy Dog is well on its way to raising enough money for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase a fourth patrol K-9 but still needs to raise $30,000.  Having a fourth patrol K-9 will allow the county to have bomb- and narcotics-trained canine teams on duty at all times.

In addition to the cost to purchase the dog, there are ongoing training expenses, supplies, equipment and funds that go toward replacing dogs who are near retirement.

For more information about Project Deputy Dog, go to