Sheriff Joseph Roybal Announces Retirement of El Paso County Sheriff’s Office K9 Taz

Aug 8, 2023 - 12:49pm

Today, members of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office celebrated the career and retirement of K9 Taz. 

K9 Taz began his service with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in November 2017, working exclusively with K9 handler Deputy Nicholas Witherite. 

K9 Taz attended 12 weeks of initial training and earned a United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) certification for narcotics and patrol work. Since his initial certification, K9 Taz has been certified annually with the National Police Canine Association (NPCA). He has received the highest accolades during his annual recertification.

K9 Taz demonstrated dedication and enthusiasm to his duties with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and for the citizens of El Paso County for over six years. 

K9 Taz was deployed 1240 times during his service, made nine criminal apprehensions, secured 130 give-ups, and was a manpower multiplier on 370 SWAT deployments. 

On record, K9 Taz has over $1.7 million worth of narcotics seizures, including traffic stops that produced 22 pounds of cocaine, 16 pounds of methamphetamine, 12 pounds of Black Tar heroin, to name a few. Additionally, K9 Taz secured countless other drugs during executions of search warrants throughout the past six years. 

K9 Taz has worked alongside several local agencies, including the Fountain Police Department, the Colorado Springs Police Department, the Calhan Police Department, the Monument Police Department, the Manitou Springs Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division, the Fort Carson Criminal Investigations Division, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and on a Presidential Detail. 

K9 Taz is one of the most successful K9s to work for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to date. 

Unfortunately, K9 Taz has recently sustained two significant injuries, which have caused concern for his safety and ongoing deployments. Both injuries were sustained during SWAT operations for highly dangerous and violent felons. During these incidents, K9 Taz assisted with the successful location and apprehension of three dangerous, wanted fugitives. Having K9 Taz on those operations guaranteed the safety of the citizens of El Paso County, Deputies, and other members of local law enforcement. 

K9 Taz will continue to be cared for and spend his retirement days with Deputy Witherite and his family.

K9 Taz continues to serve the Office and community by helping Deputy Witherite’s new K9 partner (to be announced soon) by giving pointers on being the bestest boy, finding the drugs, and taking down the bad guys. 

Sheriff Joseph Roybal issued the following statement upon K9 Taz’s retirement: 

“Our K9 partners are manpower multipliers and take on a tremendous lift in dangerous, tactical situations. Their unique skills and training give law enforcement an edge in stopping criminals on our streets and keeping the community safe. I commend K9 Taz and Deputy Witherite on their partnership and six years of outstanding service to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of El Paso County. Congratulations, K9 Taz! I hope you enjoy your well-deserved retirement.”

MR 23-054

Office of the Sheriff

27 East Vermijo Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States

719-520-7100 / 719-390-5555 (after hours)

El Paso County Jail

2739 East Las Vegas Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
United States