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Sheriff’s Department highlights K9’s service

Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 6:58 pm

With 16 days to selection of replacement K9s, the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office wanted to share some brief highlights for K9 Chal as he heads into retirement.
“Chal has been a valuable asset to the people of Audrain County and the people of Missouri, and we’re hopeful becoming a house dog goes smoothly for him,” noted a statement released by the sheriff’s office.

Following are career highlights for K9 Chal during his 2018-2023 years of service:
Chal has been involved in approximately 25 search warrants that he successfully secured the perimeter from fleeing subjects. Chal has been utilized in over 20 public demonstrations. Since certified, Chal has attended over 1,900 hours of continued training. Chal has performed security/narcotics checks of area schools over 10 times. The following numbers are stats maintained by Chal’s handler over his career: total arrests related to Chal: 194, total number of tracks initiated by Chal: 20, total subjects located from tracks initiated by Chal: 12, 11 subjects surrendered to the presence of Chal, one subject was physically apprehended by Chal. Chal was deployed over 114 times for vehicle sniffs: 74 of those were for the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office. 27 of those sniffs were for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Thirteen of those sniffs were for agencies outside of Audrain County. Total number of Firearms located by Chal during vehicle sniffs: 12, eight of those firearms were stolen. Total weight of narcotics located from Chal on narcotics deployments: approximately 12.5 pounds, 6 pounds of that was located within Audrain County.
K9 Apollo is a Belgian Malinois, born on Feb. 14, 2016, and his handler is Sheriff Matt Oller. Apollo has the distinction of being one of the few police dogs in Mid-Missouri that was born in the U.S. He was trained from a puppy by Chris Smith, who is a Boone County deputy sheriff and a nationally recognized and certified Master Trainer for the North American Police Work Dog Association and Missouri Police Canine Association.

“Apollo came to us from another agency in Missouri in August of 2021, so we don’t have access to all his training and deployment records, but we know he has had a stellar career. Apollo Came to us in 2021 because of staffing shortages that hit many law enforcement agencies across the country. To put a complicated story simple, his original agency was left without a qualified handler, and through contact with our mutual trainer, Apollo came to Sheriff Oller to have a ‘forever home.’ Little did he know what he was getting into.”
Apollo went into service in 2017 with the Moniteau County (MO) Sheriff’s Office, and during that time, took part in numerous deployments. In one of the most prized photos in his career, Apollo was called to the floor of the Missouri Legislature with his “bosses” to be recognized and awarded for saving the life of his Moniteau County handler, who was being attacked and at risk of being disarmed. Apollo intervened and physically apprehended the deputy’s attacker, resulting in the deputy being able to go home to his family. At 57 pounds, Apollo is extremely fast and agile, and Sheriff Oller affectionately calls him the “pocket rocket” police dog.

During his short career with Sheriff Oller, which began after team certification in December 2021, Apollo was deployed 15 times. Those deployments are:
Vehicle Sniffs: six total, four resulting in narcotics being located. four were conducted for members of the MSHP and two for members of the ACSO.
Criminal Tracks: five total, three tracks were for members of the ACSO, one was for the MSHP and one for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Four tracks resulted in apprehensions of five felony suspects, all of which surrendered to Apollo without physical apprehension.

Non-Criminal Tracks: One total, for a missing person at the request of the Mexico Public Safety Department, which was unsuccessful. The missing person was later located and found safe in another county. Evidence/Arrticle Search: one total, for the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office after a subject threw articles from a vehicle during a pursuit. The articles thrown were successfully located along US 54 by Apollo. Perimeter Security: two total – perimeters were successfully secured at the request of ACSO members by Apollo during executions of search warrants. School Security/Drug Sniffs: four total, two of which were schools in Audrain County, one in Osage County, and one in Montgomery County. Public Demonstrations: Apollo and Sheriff Oller did not track the number of public demos they took part in, but it is estimated to be around 10.

“While Apollo has had a short career with us, he is certainly a veteran, and we’re happy to have him as one our ‘retirees.’ Sheriff Oller and his family have already made plans to reserve a spot on the couch for him, through his golden years.