Thanks to a generous donation from the Bierman Family Foundation, Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger is very pleased to announce a new chapter will soon begin in the war on drugs in Lincoln County.
As soon as next Spring, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office’s Patrol Division will place on patrol two fully functioning patrol dogs as K9 units, whose main objective will be narcotic detection.
After an extensive search, two deputies have been selected to serve as the handlers for the new K9’s.
They are Deputy Sam Steckbauer and Deputy Joel Prahl.
Deputy Steckbauer is an eight year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, having started in the corrections division in September of 2008. While serving as Correctional Officer, he was selected as employee of the year.
Sam was appointed to the patrol division in 2010 and now serves as the Sheriff’s Office’s NORDEG (Northcentral Drug Enforcement Group) Officer, Field Training Officer, and as a member of the agency’s honor guard.
Since being appointed to the patrol division, Steckbauer has twice been selected as Deputy of the Year.
Deputy Joel Prahl is a more recent hire to the agency.
Deputy Prahl is a native of the Town of Wausau and received his Associate’s Degree and Recruit Academy training at NTC in Wausau.
Sheriff Jeff Jaeger noted the importance of having the Bierman Family Foundation assist with this program,
“It is hard under our tight fiscal budgets to ask for any special or extra programs. Realizing the importance this agency puts on getting drugs off our streets we felt this would be a good fit for the commitment that the Bierman Family intended on for our community.”
The dogs will not just be for narcotic detection, as they are fully functional patrol dogs, meaning they will be an asset to the patrol staff as they perform their daily duties. The dogs will also be trained in search and rescue, which will assist in finding missing children and vulnerable adults.
The K9 handlers will receive their dogs and training at the Von Liche Kennels in Indiana .
The school has trained K9 units that currently serve around the world including surrounding jurisdictions.
Because of the significant number of area agencies with dogs from Von Liche, annual recertification training will take place locally which will cut down on costs. Although the K9 program’s startup cost has been entirely funded by the Bierman Family Foundation, the Sheriff’s Office will accept donations
for future expenses and the eventual replacement of the dogs. Donations can be sent to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to the attention of the Sgt. Dave Haskin’s Memorial Fund.