Williamson Co. deputy removed from K9 program

Sgt. Randy Batten and Chico posted May 1, 2014 (Williamson County Sheriff's Office Facebook Photo)
Sgt. Randy Batten and Chico posted May 1, 2014 (Williamson County Sheriff's Office Facebook Photo)

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Sgt. Randy Batten with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has been removed from the canine program following a review of his handling of police dogs.

A Disciplinary Review Board began to review the deputy on Oct. 12. On Thursday, the review board’s findings were announced. The department determined Batten violated rules for care of county property, as well as unsatisfactory performance and unbecoming conduct, all related to his care of canine Drago. On Nov. 10, the sheriff sustained the board’s recommendations.

Batten was responsible for K9 Chico, who was found dead in March on the side of the road after escaping during a storm. The deputy told his supervisor Chico got out after he pushed open his kennel gate.

After Chico’s death, Batten was assigned another K9 named Drago. In July, while Batten was out of town, a shift supervisor checking on Drago found the dog in poor condition and had to take him to the vet for immediate treatment.

The next day, a second dog owned by Batten was found in similar condition and removed from his home to be taken to a veterinarian. Batten has been reassigned to regular patrol duties.

“The Sheriff’s Office takes pride in the department’s working dogs and their dedicated handlers,” WCSO said in a statement. “Although these circumstances are rare, any allegations of dogs not being properly cared for is taken very seriously.”

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