K9 Unit History
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit started in 1979 with two patrol teams. The handlers were Bill Plumber and Greg Yaeger and the canines were experienced canines that were obtained from other departments. The handlers received their training from the departments that provided the canines and by attending training seminars.
1980 - Jim Morrow and Russ Shane were selected to replace Plumber and Jaeger when they left the employ of the SCSO. They were trained by Ross McInnes of the Calgary PD K-9 Unit.
1987 - a third patrol team was added to the unit with the selection of Dave Vanwormer. Vanwormer was trained jointly by Ross McInnes, Jim Morrow, and Russ Shane.
1994 - John Cook was selected to replace Vanwormer and Robert Christilaw was selected to replace Jim Morrow due to a promotion and retirement. They obtained their canine partners and training from Adlerhorst Kennels in Riverside California.
1995 - Tom Edlebrock was selected to replace Russ Shane due to a promotion. Edelbrock obtained his canine partner and training from Adlerhorst Kennels in Riverside California.
1999 - Deputy Bob Bond was selected as the department’s first narcotic detection handler. He and his canine were trained by members of the Spokane Police Department canine unit.
2000 - Deputy Scot Nelson was selected as the department’s second narcotic detection team handler. He and his canine were trained by members of the Spokane Police Department canine unit. Both of their dogs originally came from shelters.
Deputy J. P. Melton was selected as the department’s first Explosive Detector Canine handler. His received his partner and training from A.T.F. in Front Royal, Virginia.
Deputies Bond and Nelson became the department’s first handlers to cross-train dogs for patrol and narcotics detection.
Deputy Steve Stipe was selected as a patrol canine handler. Deputies Bond, Nelson, and Stipe received their training from members of the Spokane Police Department canine unit.
Deputy Stidham was selected as a narcotics detection handler. He received his training from Adlerhorst Kennels in Riverside CA while working for Kootenai County..