A new deputy has joined the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office. And while he can’t carry a side pistol, he has his own weapons: sharp teeth and a keen sense of smell. Judo, a German Shepherd police dog and his K-9 handler, Deputy Joe Leeds, are the newest additions to the sheriff’s office. The two have been partners for almost three years. “If you see me, the dog’s not too far behind,” Leeds said, as Judo stood at his side with his favorite chew-toy, eager to go to work.
Judo, a certified drug dog and commissioned deputy, will alert on all types of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. In addition to tracking drugs, he’s a scent-tracking dog and can be used in manhunts. His presence tends to deter suspects from running because he can be unleashed to apprehend a suspect. “He can run much faster than they can,” Leeds said.
The duo works rotations of regular shifts and are on-call whenever Judo’s services may be needed by deputies. Leeds is excited about joining Sheriff Mike Booth’s team.“I am happy to be here — the sheriff is definitely on the right track,” he said. Leeds began his law enforcement career with the Department of Corrections before becoming a deputy at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to becoming a Pottawatomie County deputy about three weeks ago, he worked a short stint at the Wewoka Police Department.
Booth is pleased to have both of them on the department. “I think they’re an extremely useful asset,” Booth said. “I’m glad we found Joe and Judo to help us out.” Judo and Leeds have already helped take drugs off the streets of Pottawatomie County, the sheriff said.
Leeds said he’s thankful for his partner and their continued partnership. Because of the donation of a new dog to Seminole County authorities from the National Drug Dog Foundation, Leeds said he was able to bring his partner with him to work at the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office.
In his spare time, Leeds, who is originally from California, spends time with his family and enjoys participating in cage fighting.