AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

Kodiak Probation Officer works with local police K9 ‘Max’

In cases where offenders have search conditions that include a search for controlled substances, Kodiak Probation Officer Jill Bunting sometimes requests the assistance of the Kodiak Police Department K-9 Unit (which consists of Officer Mike Barnett and Max the K-9). Utilizing the K-9 for searches for controlled substances greatly reduces the amount of time that it takes to search.

“It makes us much more efficient with our use of time,” said Bunting. “Typically we meet at the station to discuss the offender, the location, the residence itself, the vehicles, and the other subjects who reside at that location. After the planning has been done and we report to the offender’s residence, Officer Barnett interviews the offender about some safety issues that could affect Max (harmful products he might encounter for instance). When the residence has been cleared of any safety issues, Officer Barnett works with Max while I interview the offender.”

The K-9 Unit is used to conduct searches of residences, vehicles, and outbuildings. Once the established areas have been searched by Max, if he has indicated on anything, then Officer Barnett and PO III Bunting hand search the areas of indication in order to locate any controlled substances.

“There have been instances where door panels have been removed from vehicles and the controlled substances were located behind them. Max is extremely agile, able to get atop tables and other structures with ease,” Bunting said. “Having the benefit of only hand searching the areas where we know, based upon Max’s indication, that there are in fact controlled substances, allows us more time to conduct home visits and accomplish other work as we do not have to spend time hand searching the entire location.”

Max is a Belgian Malinois.