Sata is the newest and cutest addition to the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

Harford County Sheriffs Department has added a new canine member to its police force. It's very common for police departments to have dogs on the force to sniff out bombs, drugs, and people, but this K9 is the first of its kind in the State of Maryland.

Sata, a beautiful, fluffy black dog, is trained as a Electronic Storage Detection canine (or ESD). Sata can sniff out all kinds of electronic data storage devices like flash drives and cell phones. The dog and his human handler will be assigned to Harford County’s Child Advocacy Center Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.

The dog was brought to the department to help investigators find digital storage, often a crucial piece of evidence in crimes involving sexual offenses. 

“K9 Sata will allow the Harford County Sheriff’s Office to expand our investigative capabilities to address the growing number of cases involving digital media,” said Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler.  “Access to this cutting-edge opportunity greatly enhances our abilities to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children.”

Sata with Detective Carey Gerres, courtesy Harford County Sheriffs Office

Sata with Detective Carey Gerres, courtesy Harford County Sheriffs Office

Sata is also trained as a therapy and comfort dog and will replace the department’s beloved therapy dog Kilo, who passed away last year. Therapy dogs can be used by law enforcement to comfort children and adults in stressful situations. Interaction with animals can help humans lower anxiety and blood pressure and take their minds off the situation. Sata is joined by her human handler, Detective Carey Gerres, and will help the department bring justice to the victims of child pornography and other sexual abuse crimes.

Sata was trained by a renowned K9 training company made possible by a grant from Neighborhood Electronic Detection K-9, a nonprofit dedicated to training dogs for ESD detection. Funding was also provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention and the Harford County Task Force.