As a citizen of Sumner County, I am really concerned with the way the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office is treating Patrol Service K-9 Agar.  Agar is a dual-purpose trained K-9, which means that not only can he detect the odors of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, but he can locate and apprehend suspects.
Patrol service K-9’s are a great asset to any law enforcement agency.  It’s a good public relations tool.  They can be used in schools, car stops, tracking and apprehending suspects, and protect citizens and officers all by giving the K-9 a command.  
For the past five years, Agar has been on the streets of Sumner County as a dual purpose K-9 assisting with several manhunts in and around Sumner County and several drug busts.  Agar joined the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 where he and I went through a rigorous ten-week training course.  Agar joined me on the streets for the rest of my tenure with the sheriff’s office until December 2016.
In early 2017, Agar was assigned to another deputy to continue his career with Sumner County.  Agar and the deputy went to another ten-week academy for training.  Again, this is a very tough course for a K-9 handler and the K-9.
So, where is Agar today?  Good question.  Agar is currently being kenneled at the Rose Hill Veterinary Clinic in Rose Hill, and has been for the past 40 or 45 days.  Why is a $9500 Sumner County K-9 sitting in another county?  Why are the Sumner County citizens paying money to another county when we have three veterinary clinic right here in Sumner County that we can kennel the K-9 at.  
The K-9 program is dissolving in Sumner County.  I can speak of this first-hand being the K-9 handler in Sumner County for over five years.  The citizens support this program 100%.  I have set up numerous fundraisers to assist with the K-9 program, and the citizens of Sumner County always went above and beyond to assist the program.  However, the sheriff’s office does not support this program which is a very sad thing.  Training was always an issue.  If you look at the numbers, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office has more employees than they have ever had before, but yet our population hasn’t increased.  The budget is overwhelming, so there has always been plenty of money to support the program.  So, why is this program being treated like this?
The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office has contacted at least two other agencies to purchase Agar.  Agar will be seven years old at the end of July.  The average working span of a police K-9 is eight to ten years.  The amount of money he is worth today is very minimal.  A dog can change its behavior with all the changes taking place.  Think if you were to get rid of your dog, or you go to someone else’s house who may have dogs, how does that dog react?  It’s a new environment, new people, and a new house.  Why add all the extra stress to a K-9 who only has two to three years of workability left if they are lucky?
If Sumner County chooses to get rid of Agar, let us hope they make the healthy choice and keep him right here in Sumner County living the retired life with his handler and the people he is familiar with.  

Michael Roths.