by Diane Tuazon
ODESSA - Charlie is not like your typical dog. He's the only K9-Unit for Ector County Sheriff's Department.
K-9 dogs are law enforcements most reliable helpers, but the cost of owning one is becoming too pricy for the Sheriff's Department. It costs anywhere from $10,000-$12,000 for one of these highly trained dogs.
"Once you have a K9-Unit started. It's not hard to keep it going. The initial cost is what shocks people, but the rewards far out weigh the initial cost," Sgt. Robbie Strahan with the Ector County Sheriff's Office, said.
Sgt. Strahan says there's more to it than just training the dog that contributes to the cost, it's all the equipment that goes with it.
"The cars these days need to come with heat system, and door release system which is another expense. All of the bite work and sleaves all the way down to leashes and waterbowls," Sgt. Strahan said. "Eventually I'd like to have two more so that we can have all four patrols working with dogs," Sgt. Strahan said.
For the Ector County Sheriff's department, it's a big investment that's worth every penny.