The ACSO's Canine Unit began in 1986 with one handler and K-9 assigned to Patrol Services. The enormous benefit in using canines in the apprehension of criminals and evidence detection was immediately evident. This resulted in the addition of a second Canine Unit in 1987. 

Currently the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office has five K-9 Teams in service:
  • Deputy Gordon Carroll and K-9 Arrow
  • Deputy Kelly Draper and K-9 Kilo
  • Deputy Daniel Ruybal and K-9 Zero
  • Deputy Ty Zimmerman and K-9 Roman
  • Deputy Tadd Alexander and K-9 Nuke 

K-9 Arrow

Carroll and arrow

K-9 Kilo

Kilo Head only

K9 Roman

Ty and Roman


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K-9 Training

The K-9s are dual purpose dogs, meaning they are trained in two disciplines: apprehension and narcotics detection.

In 2019, the ACSO acquired K-9 Nuke, who is trained to detect explosives.  

  • Area Searches
  • Building Searches
  • Felony Car Stops
  • High-risk Warrant Arrests
  • Narcotics Detection
  • Obedience
  • Officer Protection
  • Public Demonstrations
  • Riot Control
  • Suspect Apprehension
  • Tracking
  • Trailing

K-9 Breeds

The sheriff's office uses German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois as K-9s because of their overall fitness for patrol work. The dogs have excellent noses, great strength, long endurance, good speed and are easily trainable. In other words, they are excellent all-around dogs for law enforcement purposes.


The Canine Teams are assigned as rove cars on patrol, which provides better response to in-progress calls within Arapahoe County and the city of Centennial. 

K-9s are assigned to one specific deputy, living with the deputy and his or her family. A K-9 team usually stays together four to six years until the K-9 retires. When the K-9 retires from service, the handler has the first option to keep the K-9 as their pet. 


Canine handlers must have the desire and ability to constantly train with their dogs. The K-9 teams have scheduled training each month, in addition to the numerous hours of on-duty training that occurs. Repetition is necessary and very important in the training of K-9s as all dogs are conditioned responders. Over the years, K-9s have proven their value and courage time and time again.

Past Handlers and their K-9 Partners

Handler K-9 Years
Vincent Cecilione Atlas 1986-1991
Mark Campbell Deacon 1987-1991
Bruce Hayward Rico 1988-1992
Todd Marner Darth 1989-1996
Jay Hawkins Arco 1991-1992
Mark Ortler Arco and Luke 1992-1996
Jim Wunderlich Ringo and Ringo Jr. 1996-2001
Gordon Carroll J.R. and Max 1996-2011
Mike Mitchell Ringo Jr. and Aragorn 2001-2009
James Cook Aragorn 2009-2010
James Cook Orry 2010-2014
Gordon Carrol Thor 2009-2017
Adam Lendi Orry 2014-2018