The Essex County Sheriff's Department K-9 Division consists of 18 teams with wide-ranging duties.
While all of the teams are responsible for providing security at the department's three incarceration facilities, they are often called by police departments to aid in the arrest of fugitives, locate missing people, and detect hidden drugs.
In 1999-2000, the K-9 Division responded to 300 calls from communities in Essex County and southern New Hampshire. The unit recovered 30,000 bags of heroin, more than 900 pounds of marijuana, 10 kilograms of cocaine and crack, and thousands of dollars.
The unit also conducted more than 100 demonstrations in area schools and at parades and fairs throughout the county.