LCSO Sgt. Richard Castellon aims to create safer communities with Deputy Dogs program

All this week, we’ve introduced you to five finalists for Lee County Officer of the Year, and Saturday night, we will learn who wins the top honor.

K9 Kylo, Chance and Mercy work side-by-side with Lee County Sheriff Sergeant Richard Castellon to educate.

This dog-loving deputy is making connections in his community, “I quickly saw the reception that the dog was getting and the attention.” he said.

Castellon says everything he does with the dogs has a working component to it, but there’s so much more from the outreach perspective, “The general public kind of sees us as human beings, and that we’re actually here to connect with them. Not only from a law enforcement capacity but kind of an everyday thing.”

Sgt. Castellon and the K9s go to community events and fundraisers all over the county.

He says it’s all about “Seeing the faces on the kids, the parents coming out and making that connection and to know that as an agency we’re associated with that or affiliated with that process is rewarding in itself.”

His love for animals gave one dog named Chance, a second chance, “He was at the point of heat exhaustion, he was almost about to heatstroke. He was in bad shape.”

Castellon and Chance now lead the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dogs Program.

They encourage people to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and educate them on programs offered by the sheriff’s office… All to make a ‘pawsitive’ impact.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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