UNION PARISH, La (KTVE/KARD)– K-9 units have integral roles in law enforcement. They train every week to ensure they are prepared for when they are needed. Union Parish Sheriff’s Office gave us the inside scoop on the K-9 unit.

Sgt. Sam Snyder, the K-9 Coordinator for UPSO, told some facts about the unit they have. “We have two K-9 deputies: deputy Aaron Kendrix and deputy Chris Hughes. “In the K-9 program itself, they are certified in tracking, narcotics, and apprehension.”

The K-9 unit can do different services, but they have areas of expertise. “K-9 units are used on a daily basis for calls of service and arrests made, but for our K-9, they are used for the apprehension of felony suspects for escaped inmates or any felony warrant.”

It’s important that handlers share a bond with their K-9. Deputy Aaron Kendix is a K-9 handler with UPSO and tells us more. “I have to learn about him and how he acts in certain situations. His alert is to sit whenever he gets into the presence of the odor of narcotics. “Well, he might get a little light hint of it as he’s walking past, and you have to learn to watch him because he’ll do a headshake real quick and just keep going, but he’ll keep wanting to go back to that even as he’s going around the car, which can be considered an alert because I can see that his body language changes.”

The K-9 unit will always be prepared for when they are needed.