The K-9 program in Clayton County was established in 1997 after two area police officers identified a steady increase of drug related crimes and the need for a narcotic detection dog. Officers from the Marquette and Elkader Police Departments researched and developed the initial program design. K-9 Brady, a Black Labrador Retriever, was the first official police canine in Clayton County specifically trained in narcotic detection through Brodie K-9, and handled by Chief Mark Kautman of the Marquette Police Department.
With the success of the initial program Chief Kautman obtained his second canine Senna, a Belgian Malinois, classified as a dual purpose canine also through Brodie K-9. Chief Kautman was hired with the Clayton county Sheriff's Office in 1998 under Sheriff Verdean Dietrich and donated canine Senna to the department starting what is now the Clayton County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit.
The K-9 program has played a vital role in Clayton County with the enforcement of drug related crimes as well as the discovery of missing or lost persons. The dedication and commitment of the handlers and canine partners ensures a long lasting and successful K-9 program will exist at the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.