Clark County sheriff’s K-9 Yari, deputy to retire

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is left without a K-9 officer after the dog’s deputy handler has taken medical leave from his job.

The sheriff’s office dog, Yari, will likely retire as K-9 handler Deputy Johnny Lemen’s departs his position for medical reasons, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said.

“The number of arrests they made are unbelievable,” Kelly said of the duo.

Lemen and Yari have been worked together since 2013, logging thousands of hours and hundreds or arrests in that time.

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Yari, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, was a dual-purpose tool for the sheriff’s office — trained to sniff out narcotics as well as people, and able to attack and apprehend suspects.

Police dogs are an invaluable tool, law enforcement leaders have said.

“I hate to lose them both,” Kelly said.

The Springfield Police Division has two dog and officer teams — Officer Kevin Hoying and K-9 Spike and Officer Deric Nichols and K-9 Gery.

Those officers and dogs have already stepped in to make sure there is K-9 help across the county, Kelly said.

Lemen started working at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in 2001.

The sheriff’s office wants to look into replacing Yari with a new dog, Kelly said, especially since a new K-9 cruiser was recently purchased by the department.

A new K-9 will cost the sheriff’s office roughly $9,000, Kelly said, plus additional costs to send the dog and deputy handler through training.

Someone has approached the sheriff showing interest in donating the money for the up-front cost of a new dog, Kelly said.

To choose a new deputy, the sheriff’s office must post the position and go through the process of selecting a person for the position, the sheriff said.

No timeline on the new dog has been decided upon, he said.

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