MARION, SC (WBTW) – The Marion County Sheriff’s Office now has a new K-9 unit.

News13s Kiahnna Patterson first told you about the unit last year. When the Sheriff’s Office started a fundraiser to purchase the K-9 to combat an increase in drug 

Students, churches, businesses, and people all across Marion County stepped up to help raise more than $16,000 to revamp the K-9 unit.

The Sheriff’s Office purchased a K-9, trained him and bought equipment for his truck.

Deputies named the new K-9 Narco, which is short for narcotics. Narco has several jobs; Catch suspects, find drugs and perform school searches.

SGT Shad Barfield’s been a K-9 handler for 9 years. He says he was surprised by the community support.

“I just enjoy working with the dogs. I enjoy getting called out,” said Barfield. “Knowing I’m making the community safer.” 

Barfield says they’ve had nothing but success ever since Narco’s first day on the job, about a month ago.

“The suspect was apprehended by Marion City. But once he was apprehended they felt like he threw a weapon, as well as, some out of the vehicle. We went back with Narco and we found a small caliber and a large quantity of crack cocaine,” said Barfield. “We would not have been able to locate that had it not been for narco.”

While Barfield couldn’t say exactly how much drugs have been confiscated over the last month, he says deputies have seized thousands of dollars.

“K-9s pay for themselves. It doesn’t take long for drug seizures and searches,” he explained.

The Sheriff’s office already has another K-9 named Una, which is set to go through certification in April.

The unit is also in the process of trying to purchase a bloodhound to help track people.

 “People that wander off or mental patients, Alzheimer’s patients, kids… it’s not all just about catching a fleeing suspect,” he said.