Chester County Sheriff's K9

In August 2006, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office began their first K-9 Unit. The first two K-9s, Cento and Nero were trained in explosive detection, patrol and tracking. Cento and Nero have since retired and now reside with their handlers.


On July 2010 The Chester County Office of the Sheriff welcomed the newest members to the Chester County Sheriff’s K9 Unit. They are Buster and his handler Deputy Lt. John Freas, Yukon, and his handler Deputy Brian Bolt, Sabre and his handler Deputy John Heisler, and Afra and her handler Deputy Harry McKinney. All 4 are trained in explosive detection, tracking and article searches. Buster and Afra are also trained in patrol. The most recent addition in July of 2011 was Jessie who is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, and article searches. Her handler is Deputy Harry McKinney


The Chester County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Units provide security to all county government buildings as well as support and assistance to all law enforcement agencies throughout the county.

2018 CCSO K-9 Calendar

Donations $10.00

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office wants to facilitate the dogged pursuit of that perfect holiday gift with the debut of its K-9 calendar.

Each month features a different dog and biographical information on the handler. Since the K-9 Unit contains 10 teams, a couple of retirees are also spotlighted.

The dogs specialize in explosives, narcotics, accelerants and cadaver detection; the latest addition to the team is a comfort canine used primarily for special victims.  Lt. Harry McKinney, who heads the unit, said the K-9 teams each average about a 100 calls a year, and their service includes duties such as clearing a building after a bomb threat, helping to apprehend a fugitive, or locating a lost child.

Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh credits the program’s successful expansion to the efforts of McKinney, a master trainer for the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers, and Chester County Deputy Sheriff Paul Bryant, a Level III trainer for the U.S. Police Canine Association. In addition to increasing the number of teams, the pair initiated an in-house training program to strengthen the skills of the existing teams as well as generate revenue since outside agencies use their services.

Welsh is particularly proud of the fact that the K-9 Unit operates almost exclusively through donated services and funds. Rather than rely on taxpayers’ money, the office holds a couple of major fund-raisers throughout the year to support it.

Calendars available in the Chester County Sheriff’s Office or through any of the K-9 handlers. The donation is $10 apiece. add $2.00 for mailing.
Make Checks payable: CCSK 9
Mail: Chester County Sheriff Office 201 W Market St. Suite 1201 West Chester PA 19382

Anyone interested in ordering large quantities to distribute or sell should contact McKinney at or 610-344-4314.