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Lee County K-9 Helps Protect Deputies, Promote Department

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Jason Parrott
/
TSPR
Dakota Foley spoke to about 90 kids and adults Wednesday morning about his partner, Kion, a 2-year-old German Shepard. The Sheriff's Office has two K9 Officers and 2 handlers.

Dakota Foley stood before about 70 young kids and 20 adults Wednesday morning at the Keokuk Public Library. He was joined in the Round Room by his partner, Kion, a two-year-old black German Shepard.

Foley is a Deputy with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. He’s also one of two trained K-9 handlers.

Foley spoke to the group for about 45 minutes on a wide range of topics about Kion: his training, where he was born, where he sleeps, and his duties, including searching for drugs and protecting Foley.

“He can’t do his job without me,” said Foley, “And I cannot do my job without him. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun also.”

Foley also answered questions from both kids and adults, telling them that Kion had been involved in about 30 arrests.

“I give him a lot of credit,” said Foley. “He has caught a lot of suspects.”

Kion, meanwhile, circled Foley throughout his speech, trying to get Foley to hand over his favorite toy: a small orange ball. Foley handed it over a few times, allowing Kion to chew it and push it around the room.

After the presentation, Foley and Kion posed for photos. Foley also allowed the kids to scratch Kion’s head or rub his belly.

Foley said events like these are important “...to close the gap between the community and law enforcement, more now than ever. We are part of the community. We are not the problem, we are the solution.”

Foley said the Sheriff’s Office tries to show off Kion and former K-9 officer, Gunner, as much as possible throughout the county. He said he’s proud of Kion’s progress so far.

“I want him to be the best he can be, so if I don’t put in the extra time, he will not be the best,” said Foley. “If I or another officer makes a traffic stop and we locate drugs with Kion, that is an amazing thing.”

Public donations paid for the two K-9’s, their equipment and ongoing expenses such as food.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.