K-9 Teams

The Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit is composed of two teams run solely on community donations.

Deputy James Spencer & K-9 Elza

Deputy Spencer handles K-9 Elza, an 18 month old Shepard trained and certified in narcotics detection, tracking, suspect apprehension and handler protection.

Deputy Andrew Yessman with K-9 Digit

Deputy Yessman handles K-9 Digit, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois trained in narcotics detection, tracking, suspect apprehension and handler protection.


Both K-9 teams formally train at least every two weeks in Yates County with a master trainer. This is done in addition to the numerous hours of maintenance training that is conducted at home. Each year, both K-9 teams attend the Yates County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Seminar. At the seminar, the teams train with expert trainers from across the country.


The K-9 Unit of the Sheriff’s Office is available 24 hours a day, and can be called to perform many tasks including:
  • Tracking / Searches
    K-9s are trained to track and find people, whether they are lost people, missing children, or suspects of crimes.
  • Narcotics Searches
  • Both K-9s are trained to find marihuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin. The teams train in homes, warehouses, and vehicles, but are also used in schools and make routine searches of the jail.
  • Handler Protection
    K-9 Elza and K-9 Digit are trained in handler protection, or what is commonly referred to as “bite work.” In this capacity, K-9s are used to protect their handler from being attacked. They are also used to apprehend fleeing criminals.
  • Demonstrations
    Both K-9 teams participate in demonstrations for various groups, schools, and organizations. The teams look forward to bringing the dogs out and showing the public what a great resource the Sheriff’s Office has.
If you would like to know more about the K-9 Unit or are part of an organization that would like to schedule a demonstration, please feel free to call Sergeant Yessman at (607) 535-8222.