Hamilton County | “Sniper”

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office received a generous donation in early 2014 from The Matt Haverkamp Foundation for the purchase of a trained police K9 named Sniper. Sniper is a 2 year old German Shepherd who was born in the Czech Republic and trained by Shallow Creek Kennels as a Patrol/Narcotic K9.

Sniper became the new partner of Corporal Troy Swearingen, a 26 year veteran of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office who has been with their K9 Unit since 1998. This team is assigned to the Sheriff’s Enforcement Division as well as the Hamilton County Police Association (HCPA) SWAT Team. Like any new partners, Sniper and Corporal Swearingen had to learn to work together as a team. They trained daily with ups and downs while trying each other’s patience, but criminals now know they are a K9 Unit to be reckoned with!

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Sniper has already taken several criminals off the streets of Hamilton County during his short time on the job. Two of Sniper’s more memorable apprehensions during his first year include locating a suspect wanted for a shooting. Detectives tracked the suspect whom was hiding at a friend’s house in a wall unit with objects and clothing tossed over the door’s opening to throw the detectives off. Sniper, however, quickly located the suspect’s hiding place and after a short altercation with Sniper, the suspect was taken in to custody.

A second incident occurred when a suspect was wanted on assault and burglary charges. This suspect also was hiding in a residence and refused to comply with all warnings to surrender. After Sniper was released to do his job, he quickly located the suspect hiding in a 4 foot chest of drawers in a bedroom. The chest of drawers had been altered containing a hidden compartment built at the bottom so a person could conceal themselves behind the closed drawers. Sniper pulled open the false compartment door and the suspect was immediately taken into custody.

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“The Matt Haverkamp Foundation is a great organization made up of hard working, dedicated individuals,” shared Corporal Swearingen. Corporal Swearingen was one of the few officers who had the privilege to work directly with Matt and his police K9, Tibo. Both handlers spent many nights together training, working hard, and laughing even harder. “Matt was a go getter and extremely committed to training with the K9s, even taking a couple real bites without a protective sleeve,” shared Corporal Swearingen. Matt was passionate about his job as a K9 officer, and Corporal Swearingen enjoyed watching him become a great handler. Corporal Swearingen and the entire Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office commend Bruce and Nancy Haverkamp as well as their staff of volunteers on the amazing job they do assisting multiple police departments by providing trained dogs in memory of Matt.