Sgt. Herbst and Canine AJ
In February of 2000, the Sheriff's Office purchased K-9 AJ, a 2 1/2 year old yellow labrador retriever, from the same trainer that trained K-9 Buck. Sgt. Herbst and AJ then attended a 4 week handler course near Omaha, Nebraska before returning to work in Black Hawk County.
AJ was very successful in the detection of illegal drugs and his expertise was used by many other agencies including the DEA, FBI, and United States Postal Inspectors. AJ was responsible for sending many drug traffickers to both state and federal prison.
Drug & Weapon Seizure
12.5 lbs. of Marijuana and a 9mm pistol
Off Hwy 218 in Black Hawk County
15.5 lbs. of Marijuana
Off University Ave. in Waterloo, IA.
Sgt. Herbst and his partner AJ
AJ certified his detection skills annually through the United States Police Canine Association, as do all other Black Hawk County canines. AJ routinely placed very high during the regional certifications and twice competed at the national level.
In 2005, AJ went to the USPCA National Championships near Austin, Texas. In individual events, he placed 1st in the room searchs and was 3rd place overall. In team competition, Sgt Herbst and AJ partnered with Officer Derek Brand and K-9 Taziek of the Sgt. Bluff, Iowa Police Department to represent USPCA Region 21 (Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota) and they won 2nd Place.
In 2006, AJ competed at the USPCA National Championships near Jackson, Mississippi. AJ won 1st place in the room searches, 1st place in the vehicle searches, and 1st place overall. He is only one of very few dogs in the United States to have ever won each category and the overall category in the same event. Sgt. Herbst and AJ also partnered with Officer Melinda Ruopp and K-9 JR of the Marshalltown Police Department to represent USPCA Region 21 in the team event and they collectively took 1st place.
AJ also was very active in the community, routinely going to schools to do classroom presentations, conducting locker searches, and attending other community functions.
AJ retired in 2008 after 8 1/2 years of service to our community. In February 2009, he became ill at the age of 12 when his liver shut down and he died a few days later. AJ was an exceptional drug dog, he was loved by members of the Sheriff's Office, he truly was one of a kind; and best of all................he knew it!!