Watch any cop show and you’ll hear them talk about that all-important relationship between partners. Well, that unbreakable bond is even stronger when it comes to the dedicated deputies in our K-9 unit and their loyal four-legged partners. 

In this article, we’ll meet the remarkable team of highly trained deputies in the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit and the furry heroes who dedicate their lives to safeguarding our communities.


The Newest Pups on the Block 

Joining the unit in February and July 2023, K-9s Sirkan, Zastava and Jim are the newest dogs in the unit. Though they look similar, K-9s Sirkan and Zastava are Belgian malinois while K-9 Jim is a German shepherd


They might be rookies, but they know how to sniff out crime. All three are trained in patrol (criminal apprehension, handler protection, building, area and article searches), tracking and narcotics detection. 

Master Deputy Mike Smith has been with the K-9 unit for more than five years, while handlers Phillip Goeckel and Jacob Caraway joined the K-9 unit in September 2021 and December 2022, respectively, after serving elsewhere in LCSD. 


The Wise Old Dog

 Keeping the newbies in line and showing them the ropes is K-9 Blesck. This Belgian malinois has been on patrol, tracking and narcotics detection since May 2016. Handler Frank McFalls started his LCSD career in November 2014, before moving to the K-9 unit in September 2020. 


A Dynamic Duo

What’s better than one four-legged friend? Handler Torrell Jones has his hands full with two K-9 partners. 

The unit’s only bloodhound and South Carolina native, K-9 Autumn, is the second-longest serving K-9 and has been in the unit since October 2017. Boasting more scent detectors than any other dog breed and the ability to air scent, it’s no surprise K-9 Autumn specializes in tracking. 

The other half of the dynamic duo under Handler Jones’ capable command is K-9 Xander. A German shepherd from Europe, he joined the unit in June 2020 and is trained in patrol (criminal apprehension, handler protection, building, area and article searches), tracking and narcotics detection. 


A Nose for Crime

Known for their endurance, speed and agility, K-9 Eddie is our German short-haired pointer. Much like K-9 Autumn, K-9 Eddie is known for his nose. His long, broad muzzle makes him perfect for tracking, article searches and narcotics detection, which he’s been doing since joining the unit in May 2021. His handler, Candi Shealy, has been with LCSD almost 10 years, joining the K-9 unit in April 2020 as the first-ever full-time female handler. 


Leading the Pack – K-9 Nero

Master Deputy Greg Love and K-9 Nero are leading the pack. Both joining the unit in winter 2018, these partners have been on patrol, tracking and narcotics detection ever since. K-9 Nero is a German shepherd from Europe. M.D. Love started LCSD in May 2017, joining the K-9 unit a little over a year later. 


Sgt. Derek Applegate & K-9 Bodi

Leading the way on two legs and four are Sgt. Derek Applegate and K-9 Bodi. K-9 Bodi is a Belgian malinois who’s been keeping Lexington County safe since June 2018. As well as working on patrol and tracking, K-9 Bodi is our only dog that’s trained in explosive detection. K-9 Bodi is paired with Sgt. Derek Applegate. After joining LCSD in 1992, Sgt. Applegate started working in K-9 in 1995, playing a key role in forming today’s K-9 unit. 

Developing your skills as a K-9 handler is just one of the many career paths at LCSD. Find out more about what makes LCSD a great place to work, what the application process involves and explore our current job openings on our dedicated careers website.