In September the Yakima County Sheriff's Office announced the hiring of a new K-9 deputy named Simcoe. The 2-year-old German shepherd comes from California and was purchased with donations from business and community members. K-9 Simcoe and his handler, Deputy Joel Panattoni, recently completed a 400-hour training course. And on Dec. 4, Deputy Panattoni and K-9 Simcoe met current Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission/Washington State Police Canine Association standards. The two are now patrolling Yakima County.

The Sheriff’s Office K-9 program currently consists of three teams, Deputy Panattoni and K-9 Simcoe; Deputy Ward and K-9 Zuza;and Deputy Paganelli and K-9 Remington. The program is currently maintained by donations from community members and businesses.