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Sheriff#039;s office to purchase K-9 unit

This is one way to take a bite out of crime.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office is getting a K-9 dog, compliments of donations from several area school districts and the Lawrence County Juvenile Probate Court.

Sheriff Tim Sexton said the dog is being purchased from Lynnwood Kennels in Freemont, which is where the Ohio State Highway Patrol gets its canines.

A deputy who will serve as handler for the dog will be chosen at a later date and must undergo training with the dog. Sexton said he hopes to have the dog, either a Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd, ready to work by mid-May.

"My intent is for the dog to be used two days a week as a school resource officer and the rest of the time on patrol," Sexton said.

While the donations from the schools and court will pay for most of the cost associated with the K-9 unit, Sexton said he hopes people and groups in the community will step forward with additional monies to pay for the cost of the new addition. "I would encourage any organization or civic group that would like to donate to contact my office," Sexton said.

"We're excited about the program. This is another effort to try and make neighborhoods and schools safer," Sexton said. "I think this will enhance our ability to serve the community."

The Ironton Police Department got a K-9 dog earlier this year.

"Ace" the German Shepherd has already made at least two drug busts and two suspect apprehensions since joining the department in January.