Sandoval County Detention Center has a new officer, and he has four legs.

Rubble, a 2-year-old German Shepard, joined SCDC in the latter half of 2022 and recently completed his training and is now on active duty at the facility. Rubble came from Mexico and was trained in French Ring, a dog sport involving jumping, obedience (breaking in exercises), and bite work.

Kevin Hendricks/Observer.
Rubble poses with Deputy Warden Chris Urbanic outside the Sandoval County Detention Center.

Now Rubble is working with Deputy Warden Chris Urbanic, who trained with Rubble for nearly three months to be Rubble’s handler.

“He’s fairly new to the game,” Urbanic said. “Typically, I don’t know, it’s roughly 10 or 11 years that we’ll have a dog working. He’s started his career now, after finishing training, in narcotics detection and dual purpose.”

While Rubble performs contraband and narcotics detection at SCDC, he also can go on patrol. Rubble is also a tracking dog, so if there was an escape from the facility, he would be able to track the escapee.

“It’s a good deterrent for keeping contraband out of the facilities, and it’s a good safety blanket for the staff to see a dog back there that supports them and helps them work,” Urbanic said. “He definitely brightens up their day when they see us walking around. On the safety side of things, it’s a big thing where the staff feel a lot safer, knowing that there’s an extra layer of protection there.”

Rubble typically works the same hours as Urbanic but is on call 24 hours a day.

“Rubble is 24/7; he comes in with me Monday through Friday from 8 to 5, but if we get a call at 2 in the morning, then we’ll be here to do a search if we have to,” Urbanic said. “And that’s another aspect of it. It’s difficult when you have to rely on another agency such as the sheriff’s office or the PDs here. We all work together when it comes to training, but to call somebody out because they will not be on a shift to get them to kind of pay overtime to come do a search is kind of difficult. So for us to have a dog like that, we’re really lucky to be able to do a search whenever we need to to eliminate as much contraband as we can in this facility.”

Sandoval County has three groups with K-9 officers: SCDC, Fire and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office.

Rubble has gotten off to a good start in his career at SCDC and is fitting in with his new co-workers.

“He does his job,” Sandoval County Director of Marketing & Communications Shawn Perry-Turner said. “He’s a four-legged Detention Center officer with a better nose.”