by Mathew Burciaga
The newest hire by Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has been described by his partner as driven, high-energy and confident — qualities that make the four-legged crime fighter a key asset to the overwhelmingly two-legged law enforcement operation.
Krypto, a 14-month-old black Labrador, began his assignment at the Santa Barbara County Jail earlier this week. Named after Superman's iconic canine companion, Krypto joins Ian Ur, the Santa Barbara County sheriff's custody deputy and lifelong Superman fan appointed as his handler, as a member of the Sheriff's Jail K-9 Narcotics Team.
"Kryto is a super dog, so the name is perfect," Ur said.
Krypto, now a 14-month-old black Labrador, with some of his eight siblings. Krypto was purchased from and trained at the Inglis Police Dog Academy in Oxnard.
Purchased from and trained at the Inglis Police Dog Academy in Oxnard, Krypto can detect marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and methamphetamine, and is certified to conduct building, car and open area searches.
"[Krypto's] focus on hide and seek was amazing from the first time we threw his toy into a pile of laundry," recalled trainer Daniel Inglis, who praised the pooch for his natural detection ability. "He launched into it head first and came out with the toy in his mouth and a sock on his head. He was so proud. I knew nothing would stop him from his goal."
Krypto and Ur will work at the Santa Barbara County Jail — and later at the Northern Branch Jail when it opens summer 2019 — to locate illicit narcotics at the facility. The duo will be tasked with addressing issues related to the sale, distribution, consumption and introduction of drugs into the facility.
"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 as reduces criminal activity both inside and outside the facility," said Susan Pohls, a member of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse’s board of directors.
Established as a not-for-profit public benefit corporation, the Sheriff's Benevolent Posse helps the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office fill unmet needs created by county budget constraints. In early 2017, the group launched the "Project Deputy Dog" campaign — a fundraising initiative to support the sheriff’s K-9 program.
"As a dog lover, this is an easy program to support," Pohls said.
Ur said he is honored to have been paired with Krypto, who he said is adjusting well to working in a jail environment.
Krypto, left, now a 14-month-old black Labrador, with one of his eight siblings. Krypto was purchased from and trained at the Inglis Police Dog Academy in Oxnard.
"Krypto was brought into the jail for a trial run at the beginning of this year to see how he could manage the environment. He loved it," Ur said. "He is so high energy and motivated to work. I just hope I can keep up with him."
Those interested in supporting Project Deputy Dog, the program that purchased Krypto, can go to www.sbsheriffsposse.org.
The program is $30,000 away from purchasing the department's fourth patrol K-9. The new dog would ensure that a trained bomb and narcotics canine is available throughout the county. In addition to the purchase cost, funds raised by the program finance ongoing training expenses, supply and equipment purchases, and go toward replacing dogs who are near their service retirement.