K-9 Unit

Lt. Alan Cox
& K9 Kai

After having served in the United States Marine Corps, Lieutenant Cox began his law enforcement career in 1992 with the City of Richmond, Virginia. Lt. Cox moved to South Carolina in January of 2000 to continue his career with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Lt. Cox later joined the K-9 unit in December 2002 and was partnered with K-9 Barry until his retirement in December 2009. Now partnered with K-9 Kai Lt. Cox continues to serve Richland County and surrounding Jurisdictions in the realm of explosives detection. Sgt. Cox further serves as the K-9 units’ Lead Trainer charged with overseeing all training, certification, standards and guidelines. Lt. Cox is a certified Master Canine Trainer and has trained numerous dogs for departments throughout the United States as well as abroad.

Sgt. Josh Newsom
& K9 Bali

After serving in the Army, Sergeant Newsom attended and graduated from the University of South Carolina. He began his law enforcement career in 2007, came to RCSD in 2009 and to the K9 team in 2011. He also serves as a sniper on the departments SRT.  After his first K9 was medically retired, Deputy Newsom took on K9 Bali in 2015.

K9 Bali was born in December 2013 in Holland, trained in KNPV and then acquired by RCSD in 2015 when he was 18 months old.  Bali is trained and certified in tracking, narcotics detection, apprehension, building and area search and handler protection.  Bali is a high energy dog who loves nothing more than to come to work.

Cpl. Gavin Walmsley
& K9

After serving 7 ½ years in the US Army as an MP, Corporal Walmsley began his career with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in 2003. Cpl. Walmsley was assigned to the K9 Unit in 2006 and was partnered with K9 Iron and K9 Rico until their retirement. Cpl. Walmsley is now partnered with K9 Emy, who was acquired from Holland and has been trained in criminal apprehension, narcotics detection, tracking and handler protection. K9 Emy came trained in the KNPV and title as a PH1.  K9 Emy loves to spend time with Cpl. Walmsley and working hard.  

“The best thing about man is the dog.”   -Pierre-Laurent Buyrette de Belloy-

Master Deputy Adam Oxendine
& K9 Bickle

Master Deputy Oxendine started at the Sheriff’s department as an Explorer and was then hired as a JSO in 2004. He was later promoted to Class I and completed the SCCJA in May of 2006. Once assigned to road patrol in Region One, in early 2010 he was re-assigned to the K-9 team.

Bickle is a Belgian Malinois that was acquired by RCSD in 2012 from Holland. Bickle is a full service patrol K-9. K-9 Bickle is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, criminal apprehension and is also training in search and rescue.

Deputy Michael Caughman
& K9 Youri

K-9 Youri is a Dutch Shepherd that was acquired by RCSD in 2013 from Holland after receiving his training through the Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging; KNPV, also known as the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association. K-9 Youri is titled as a KNPV PH-1 full-service police dog. K9 Youri specializes in handler protection, criminal apprehension, tracking, article search, area search and narcotics detection. Deputy Caughman and K-9 Youri have been partnered together since August of 2015 and pride themselves on protecting and serving the citizens of Richland County.

Deputy Kevin Coghlan
& K9 Basco

Canine Specialist Coghlan started at the Sheriff’s Department in May of 2014. Prior to becoming a Deputy, he served in the United States Marines. Coghlan was a road Deputy assisting the citizens of Richland County until 2016 when he was transferred to the Canine unit and paired with “Basco”. Basco is a four year old Belgian Malinois that is trained as a full service patrol dog and used to located illegally possessed drugs.  He is also trained in evidence search and tracking. Coghlan and Basco have been deployed on several occasions together and the team has had great success.

Deputy Tyler Hazel
& K9 Nero

Deputy Hazel spent 6 years in the SC Army National Guard as an Infantryman. While there he attended Tactical Explosive Detector Dog handlers course in 2011. Deputy Hazel then joined RCSD in 2013 and patrolled in Region 7. Deputy Hazel joined the K9 team Dec 2015. K9 Nero was purchased from Holland as a KNPV PH1 certified dog. Nero is trained in areas of narcotics detection, area and article searches, and apprehension. Nero is very social and loves to work.

Deputy John McDevitt
& K9 Titus

Deputy McDevitt is from Delaware County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2016. Deputy McDevitt is also the assistant lacrosse coach for Blythewood High School. Deputy McDevitt joined RCSD in 2016 and was assigned to Region 4. Deputy McDevitt joined the K9 team in 2018 and is partnered with K9 Titus. K-9 Titus is a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd who is certified as a full service patrol K9 in criminal apprehension, narcotics detection, tracking, building search and article search.

Dep. Megan Munib
& K-9 Kane

Deputy Munib has lived in Columbia her entire life and attended the University of South Carolina. She has been in the United States Army Reserves since 2012 and has worked for the Richland County Sheriff's Department since 2013. Deputy Munib worked in an undercover capacity for the Narcotics Unit before working on Road Patrol and then the K9 Unit. She is partnered with K9 Kane a Belgian Malinois. K-9 Kane came to Richland County from Holland in 2017. K-9 Kane  specializes in Drug detection, article searches, and tracking of suspects and/or missing persons.

Deputy Kyle Ostrander
& K-9 Joppie

After serving in the United States Marine Corps, Deputy Ostrander obtained a degree from the USC in Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Deputy Ostrander began his law enforcement career with the City of West Columbia Police Department in 2008.  In 2011 he joined the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and was assigned as a road deputy in Region 4.  In 2014 Deputy Ostrander was assigned to the K9 team with now retired K9 Ginny.  He was then paired with K9 Joppie.

Joppie is a Belgian Malinois that was obtained from Holland.  He received the title of PH-1 (Police Hound 1) while training KNPV in the Netherlands.  He is certified as a full service patrol K9 in criminal apprehension, narcotics detection, tracking, building search and article search.

Deputy Jeffrey Rustin
& K9 Sindia

Deputy Jeffrey Rustin graduated from the University of South Carolina where he obtained a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology in 2013. He was hired by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in July of 2014 as a class 1 deputy. After graduating from the SCCJA, Deputy Rustin was assigned to the Region 7 area of Richland County as a patrol deputy. He also serves on RCSD's special Response Team as an entry team member. Deputy Rustin is paired with K9 Sindia who is a 2 year old Belgian Malinois imported from Holland and obtained by RCSD in 2018. K9 Sindia is a PH-1 full service patrol K9 trained in the areas of criminal apprehension, tracking, handler protection, and narcotics detection.

Deputy Cody Sox
& K-9 Gavin

Deputy Sox joined RCSD in October 2014, and worked as a patrol unit until assigned to K9 in June 2017. Deputy Sox attended Limestone College on a scholarship for swimming. Sox graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. Deputy Sox is partnered with K9 Gavin. K9 Gavin is a Belgian Malinois that was acquired by RCSD in July of 2017 from Holland. Gavin is a full-service police K9 trained in criminal apprehension, tracking and narcotics detection.

K9 Teams assigned to specialized units


Lt. George Becker
& K9 Rocco

Lt. Becker & Rocco - Fugitive Task Force
K9 Rocco is a 6 year old Belgian Malinois acquired by RCSD from Custom K-9 Unlimited, after having received his training through the Nederlandse. Rocco is a full service K-9 specializing in handler protection and criminal apprehension as well as tracking, article and building search and narcotics detection. Lieutenant Becker and K-9 Rocco have been partnered together since Rocco was selected. Team Becker and Rocco take great pride in striving to give their best to the citizens of Richland County each and every day.

Sgt. James Abraham
& K9 Denzel

Sgt. Abraham & Denzel - Special Response Team
Sergeant Abraham  has been employed with Richland County Sheriff’s Department for over 11 years, and 19 years in the United States Army. He has worked as a uniform deputy, and a Narcotics Agent. He worked undercover in the Narcotics Division for 2 years. While working in narcotics he grew to love canines and decided that the next move would be in that division. He is currently assigned a Dutch Shepherd named Denzel who is trained in Drug Detection, Tracking and Apprehension.

Sr. Cpl. Warren Cavanagh
& K9 Chico

Sr. Cpl. Cavanagh & Chico - Fugitive Task Force
Sr. Corporal Cavanagh came to RCSD in 2006 from the office of Inspector General with the State of South Carolina DJJ. He has been in Law Enforcement since 2002 and began handling K9s in late 2004. Corporal Cavanagh’s partner is K-9 Chico. K-9 Chico is a Belgian Malinois acquired by RCSD January 9th, 2012 at the age of 3.5, from Custom Canine Unlimited in Maysville, GA, after losing K9 Fargo in the line of duty. K-9 Chico is triple wielded in Narcotics detection, Tracking, and Criminal Apprehension. Corporal Cavanagh and K9 Chico pride themselves in making the communities of Richland County a safe place to live.

RIP K9 Fargo *BOW 2006 EOW 2011* - Miss you buddy!

“ If you don’t have confidence, you will always find a way not to win “ - unknown

Sr. Cpl. Dan Weaver
& K9 Joris

Sr. Cpl. Weaver & Joris - Special Response Team and Bomb Squad
Sr. Corporal Weaver has been with RCSD for 9 years and is currently assigned to the Special Response Team and Bomb Squad.  Prior to coming to RCSD S/Cpl Weaver served in the US Army as an MP.  S/Cpl Weaver came to K9 unit in 2018 and was partnered with K9 Joris.  K9 Joris is a 4 year old Belgium Terverun who is trained in explosive detection, tracking, and article searching.  S/Cpl Weaver and K9 Joris pride themselves on providing the best law enforcement service to the citizens of Richland County.


5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax

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