Derby, DNR K9, Racks up 245 Career Arrests
A Department of Natural Resources K9 officer is retiring after seven years of service in Spencer County
A Department of Natural Resources (DNR) K9 officer is retiring after seven years of service in Spencer County.
Derby is a black lab first adopted in 2015 as a puppy rescue from Posey County. He trained and partnered with Conservation Officer Tim Kaiser. Derby’s career included 462 deployments and 245 arrests.
“Our dogs — they're not bite dogs or not attack dogs. They're basically man trackers or resource protection dogs,” said Conservation Officer and area spokesperson Cpl. Joe Haywood.
He actually worked with Derby with a trespassing case when Derby followed the trespasser's trail to find his stash of digging tools and stolen ginseng plants — after he lied about just “walking through the property.”
“You know that that's a case that without the canine you may not make,” Haywood said.
Derby mostly tracks down missing or fleeing people. “It can be someone who's fled from a accident scene fled from police. It can be someone who is lost — a Hunter — it could be someone who has dementia and has walked away.”
K9 officers are also there to protect resources by tracking poached wildlife or plants. They also recover personal articles and evidence and make public appearances.
Haywood says they don’t track drugs — but wildlife or maybe spent shell casings instead.
“Or investigating a hunting accident. And someone has shot a shell casing and we need to go find it, we've we've got the canines that can help them help find those types of things.”
Derby will retire to the Kaiser household, while a new K-9 officer is trained — Ember — who is expected to start in late May.
The Resource Protection Program started in 1997 with two teams. There are now 11 K9 teams — which also train teams from out of state.
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