SANTA CRUZ, Calif. --The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office has appointed its first female canine handler, sheriff's officials said this week.
Deputy Cassandra Cassingham will serve on patrol with her partner, a 3-year-old German shepherd named Duke. Duke is certified in narcotics detection and locating and apprehending suspects.
The average service life of a patrol dog is five to seven years and they are usually partnered with the same deputy the entire time, sheriff's Sgt. Kelly Kent said.
"Our canine deputies perform a valuable service to the public and the Sheriff's Office and I am confident that Deputy Cassingham and Duke will be great partners and serve the community well," Sheriff-elect Jim Hart said in a statement.