Matthew J. Atkinson ( read )
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Sheriff’s K-9 team provides a specialized law enforcement service by preforming narcotics detection.
Gonzales County currently has one handler and dog team. The Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office unitizes the K-9 unit for various narcotic situations as building, open area searches as well as drug interdiction. The K-9 team is on-call 24 hours a day.
Although patrol work, narcotics detection, and maintenance training consume a major portion of the unit’s time; the K-9 team frequently performs many other assignments including: demonstrations for schools events, community organizations, and children’s groups. They are often called upon by other local agencies to assist with law enforcement related duties.
K-9 Carmella is a rescued Pit-bull; who was rescued and trained by Universal K-9 located in San Antonio, Texas. Universal K-9 is a company that was started to rescue dogs and teach people that any dog can be trained to do police work.
Carmella was acquired through a grant program at Universal K-9 at no cost to the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office.
Carmella works, trains, and lives with her handler K-9 Deputy Scott Rhodes Sr. Carmella’s patrol car, seen above, is equipped with a HOT-N-POP system to protect her in case the vehicle gets too hot inside, the windows will automatically open and a large window fan will turn on to provide airflow. The vehicle will also set off the horn to alert of the problem.
K-9 Deputy Rhodes holds a Master Peace Office in the State of Texas and received his initial K-9 training in 2008 at Global K-9 Training Academy in Somerset, Texas. Secondary training with Carmella was completed at Universal K-9 in 2016.