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Deputy James Hatfield - K9 Iron

K9 Iron

Breed: Malinois/Shepherd
Birthplace: Czechoslovakia
Birthday: 1-2-07
Weight: 65
Commands: English, Dutch
Patrol Area: North Sacramento County
Special Skills: SWAT, Gun Search, Evidence Search, Narcotics

I started building for my career in the United States Marine Corps in 1996 and the ripe old age of 17. As the end of my enlistment in the Marine Corps grew close, I set my sights on becoming a Police Officer. As soon as my 4 year enlistment was over I applied with the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department.

I began my career with the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department in 2000. My first assignment with the Sheriffs Department as an On-Call Deputy was working in the Security Services Division. After almost a year as an On-Call I was hired on as a full time Deputy and reassigned to the Main Jail Division. I spent the next three years of my career working nights at the Jail as a booking officer.

In 2004 I was selected to join the newly incorporated Rancho Cordova Police Department. I was assigned to the graveyard shift. I spent the next 3 years on graveyard with the Rancho Cordova Police Department. While working in Rancho Cordova I became heavily involved with the Sheriffs Departments Canine Detail. I began attending weekly training with the canine detail as an agitator/decoy.

In approximately 2006 I submitted a proposal to the City of Rancho Cordova for the purchase of a Narcotics Canine Team. The proposal was granted and I became the first Narcotics Canine Handler for the City. My narcotics canine partners name was “Rush”. Rush was a yellow lab and we worked together for approximately 3 years until budget cuts forced the program to be shut down. Rush now lives at home with me and is enjoying his retirement.

My desire to work with canines only grew from there. I continued attending training with the Detail until I was selected to join SSD K9 in December of 2011. I assumed the call sign “K9-7”.

I was paired with K9 Iron who was already working the streets with Deputy Limbird. Deputy Limbird was leaving the detail after being selected to the Sheriffs SWAT team. After riding around with Deputy Limbird and Iron for a couple weeks, Deputy Limbird shed a few tears and handed me the leash.

Iron and I immediately bonded once he figured out where his food was coming from. After some initial training and certification, Iron and I hit the ground running as a team. Iron had already been on the streets so I let him lead the way on our first day. The first day after certification Iron and I were called to assist Deputies serve a felony warrant on a validated gang member. Iron and I were in position at the rear of the house when Deputies knocked on the front door. When the bad guy came running out of the back door, Iron knew just what to do. Just a few fences and one tired bad guy later, Iron had apprended the fleeing felon and made his handler very proud.

Since I have had the pleasure to be Iron’s handler Iron has been certified as a SWAT K9. Iron also picked up the narcotics side of canine work quickly. After a few months of training Iron certified with the California Narcotics Canine Association and is currently the K9 details only narcotics trained Canine.

Iron is a very sweet and kind dog at home. He gets along great with Rush and my family. Iron and Rush like to chase each other around my back yard tearing up my grass but they have a great time doing it. Iron loves coming to work with me. Every morning (even when it’s our weekend) he is down stairs whining, letting me know that its time to put on our equipment and get in the car. I don’t even need to set my alarm clock anymore.

Just like our first day on the streets Iron lets me know when its go time.

Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association

Photographs by
XSIGHT Photography

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