Second K-9 unit to join Mojo the dog

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons, on May 9, received approval from the county board of commissioners to add a second K-9 unit for Otter Tail County.

In the near future the county sheriff office will have two dogs. There will be a new dog handler for the new dog. 

Mojo, a Dutch Shepherd and part of the current county K-9 unit, is under the direction of Patrol Sergeant Zach Eifert.

The K-9 unit has been used since 2015 by Otter Tail County when sheriff deputies have engaged in narcotics and evidence detection. They also assist in pursuit of fugitives and search for missing people.

Officers such as Eifert attend classes with their dogs in order to develop unique relationships and become trusted partners. Mojo and Eifert work not only in Otter Tail County but also assist law enforcement in neighboring counties.

Funding for the new dog and dog handler comes from Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF).

On May 9 the county board of commissioners supported the transfer of $30,000 to the K-9 unit account for public safety to purchasing, training and other related expenses of a new K-9.

“The K-9 dog, under the direction of the new handler, will take part in apprehension, search and rescue,” said Otter Tail County Sheriff Fitzgibbons to the five-person county board.

Adds County Board Chairman Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids, “Our county K-9 program adds to protection of the health, safety and well-being of all county residents and visitors while mitigating risk and liability.”