(11:50 AM) Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office Deputizes New K-9

Pictured, from left, are Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, Deputy Tim Pence, K-9 Nichols and Lt. Melanie Churakos, the supervisor of the K-9 position. K-9 Nichols, a 2-year-old German shepherd, was recently deputized. Submitted photo

LITTLE VALLEY — Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb on Monday announced the deputizing of its new road patrol K-9.

K-9 Nichols, a 2-year-old German shepherd, started training with his handler, Deputy Tim Pence, in April. He is a dual-purpose K-9 trained in narcotics and patrol and certified in tracking and article search. They are both members of the Special Response Team and have helped the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force on several cases, as well.

This is the first time that a K-9 was exclusively assigned to an actual road patrol position for the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Pence and K-9 Nichols have to do maintenance training one day a week. They collaborate with all of the other K-9 handlers in the surrounding counties for the training.

“It is a great way to support our fellow officers and provide and receive mutual aid to those when needed,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “The sheriff would like to thank the Randolph Veterinary Clinic for their services, Purina for their food and Amish Valley Sheds for the housing they provide for Nichols.”

Whitcomb and Pence agreed to name Nichols — the lone K-9 for the department — after the late Undersheriff Billy Nichols, who passed away in 2015 after 30 years of law enforcement service and a lengthy battle with leukemia.