"We've bonded really really well," says Corporal Matt Smith with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office. "That bond between a dog handler and their K-9 partner, once set, makes a really great team," Smith added.
He and his partner Lisa have been attending these workshops for the past three years. Tom Crossley, is the Director of the workshop, and is in charge of making sure that by the end of this week long session, all dogs and handlers meet certification.
"We're working on explosives detection, we're working on narcotics detection and we are also working on suspect apprehension," said Crossley. "Also, we will work on tracking and evidence recovery," he explained.
Tom says training like this will not only help foster a strong bond between a dog handler and their K-9, but is also required by law.
"If one of these handlers gets called into court and they are questioning the dogs ability to alert on a car stop, one of the first things that they are going to subpoena is your training record," Crossley explains.
In addition to the legal requirement training like this can also be reassuring residents.
"The biggest thing for the community is the fact that when we deploy our dog [to help out in a situation] whatever the task is at hand, our dogs are going to perform at their peak," says Corporal Smith.
In addition to local sheriff's departments K-9 teams from Kansas, Illinois, and Tennessee were also in attendance at this workshop.