DCSO gives a behind-the-scene look at its K-9 unit

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Deputies with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office gave WMBF News a behind-the-scenes look at its K-9 unit, featuring what goes into finding a missing person or suspects who run from officers.

One of the most interesting pieces of information they shared, hiding in a body of water doesn't keep a K-9 from finding you.

Major Mitch Stanley leads the Darlington County K-9 tracking team's training.

On Wednesday, deputies took out six-year-old Scarlet, she's a bloodhound and main K-9 deputies use to track.

Officers put the safety on their guns, before starting the walk through the Pine Village Housing Development.

"It's not just being seen when there is a problem that way, they see things are going and it's not just for bad stuff," said Jamie Steen, Executive Director of Darlington's Housing Authority.

The Housing Authority allows the team to train here to practice tracking people inside buildings.

The first step, making sure Scarlet knows who she's looking for.

The suspect scent and dead skin cells were lifted from his car seat and collected on a napkin.

Scarlet then sniffed a plastic bag holding the napkin, two seconds later she's off to catch the bad guy.

"Jump and runs from traffic stops, they do home invasions, missing children vulnerable adults," said Sheriff Wayne Byrd, with Darlington County Sheriff's Office.

Scarlet took this team through the housing units following the scent trail her suspect left behind.

"What she does, she was able to distinguish that and the skin cells she picks up they go to a bulb in her brain and she paints a picture," said Major Mitch Stanley, team leader with Darlington County K-9 unit.

It wasn't long until Scarlet led deputies to the suspect.

"It's very important that we do this constant training every week, because it keeps up sharp, keeps the dogs sharp," said Stanley.

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