Specialty Teams

The Ashland County Sheriff Office houses several Specialty Teams. Look below to learn more, or click a button to jump to a team’s information.


Ashland County Bomb Squad

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There are nine members on the Ashland County Bomb Squad.  The squad is on call 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.  The bomb squad serves Ashland, Erie, Holmes, Huron, Knox and Richland Counties and has also been called to assist Crawford, Morrow and Wayne Counties.  We currently have 2 robots that we have obtained through grants to assist with these calls.

In 2007, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office became the 19th FBI certified Bomb Squad in the State of Ohio.  In order to obtain this certification, all members of the squad must be certified hazmat technicians.  We currently have two certified bomb technicians.  To obtain this certification, a member must attend a rigorous six-week FBI Bomb Technician’s School in Huntsville, Alabama and then in order to maintain that certification they must take classes on updates and new information annually.

The Bomb Squad handles an average of 35 to 40 calls per year.  These calls range from threats, suspicious packages, improvised explosive devices, fireworks and ammunition/powder recovery.   The Bomb Squad has been activated by local SWAT/SRT teams to utilize the robot during standoff situations.  

The squad trains diligently to ensure a safe and rapid response to any situation and to stay current on all new potential threats that may occur.

Anyone interested in having the Bomb Squad do a demonstration or interested in finding out more about this special team can contact Deputy Tim Whalen, bomb team commander, at twhalen@ashlandcountysheriff.org.

Bomb Squad Activity and Incidents (2018)


DIVE AND RESCUE TEAM

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The Dive and Rescue Team is responsible for searching for drowned persons and recovering items and evidence underwater. The Dive and Rescue Team is composed of eight members from the Sheriff’s Office and one member from the Ashland City Fire Department.  All officers are trained to the level of Dive Rescue Specialist 1, with two members being trained as Dive Rescue Specialist 2. The Dive and Rescue Team also has one unit trained as an Underwater Crime Scene Investigator.

The Dive and Rescue Team also has personnel trained to affect ice rescues and swift water rescues. The Dive and Rescue Team also conducts Ice Rescue Training throughout the county to local fire departments.

Over the last several years, the Sheriff's Office Dive and Rescue Team has recovered stolen guns, vehicles and other items as well as drowning victims. The Sheriff's Office Dive and Rescue Team takes great pride in their abilities and accomplishments.  Their work is very dangerous. The Dive Team operates with little or no knowledge of what is under the water.  Information provided by witnesses is often sketchy or distorted. The Dive and Rescue Team usually experiences very poor visibility in most of the bodies of water in the county.

The Dive and Rescue Team is under the direct command of the Chief Diver, Detective Lt. Scott Smart.


K-9 Unit

Dep. Freelon & K-9 Oz

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Dep. Freelon started at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office in December 2001. During his career he worked as a corrections officer, corporal and sergeant. Dep. Freelon now works in the enforcement division and serves as the Village of Perrysville officer. He is a state K9 evaluator and is part of the Buckeye State Sheriff Association. Dep Freelon is married to his wife, Michele and has a daughter, a son and a daughter-in-law. He enjoys fast and slow pitch softball, hunting, fishing, golf and spending time with his family. Dep. Freelon began as a K-9 handler in May 2010 and has earned K9 officer of the year in 2013 & 2018. He is currently handling his third K-9 Oz. Oz is a long haired multi-colored German shepherd who was born on July 6, 2016.  He is trained in narcotics detection, building searches, tracking, area searches and protecting his handler. Oz enjoys going to work, running, jumping and chasing his toys. You can see K-9 Oz and his handler, Dep. Freelon, out on the road patrolling in the Perrysville community. 

Dep. Neff & K-9 Luka

Dep. Neff started at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office in April 2015. He began his career as a part-time special deputy then moved to the corrections division and is currently in the enforcement division. Dep. Neff is also a certified diver for the Ashland County Dive Team. He is married to his wife, Sadie and they have one daughter. Dep Neff enjoys spending time with family, hunting, riding four wheelers and playing with his dogs. He began as a K-9 handler in October 2018 with his K-9, Luka. K-9 Luka is a multi-colored German shepherd from Czech Republic who was born on March 15, 2017. He is trained in narcotics detection, building searches, tracking and criminal apprehension. You can see K-9 Luka and his handler, Dep. Neff, out on the road on 1st shift. 

Dep. Kinter & K-9 Marco

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Dep Kinter started at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office in June 2014. He began his career as a special deputy and was hired full time in April 2015 as the deputy of Perrysville. Dep. Kinter is currently an enforcement deputy. He is also a field training officer and a member of the Ashland County Dive Team. In his free time, Dep. Kinter enjoys playing sports, golf, working on cars and carpentry. Dep Kinter spends most of his time with his three kids, playing ball, going on four wheeler rides and fishing. He began as a K-9 handler in October 2018 with his K-9, Marco. K-9 Marco is a black German shepherd from Czech Republic who was born on June 17, 2017. He is trained in narcotics detection, building searches, tracking and criminal apprehension. You can see K-9 Marco and his handler, Dep. Kinter out on the road on 1st shift.

Dep. Hall & K-9 Dani

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Dep. Hall started at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office in November 2014. He began his career in the corrections division and was later transferred to the enforcement division. Deputy Hall has attended multiple courses to further his focus on criminal patrol. He is also an FTO (Field Training Officer) for the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Hall enjoys blacksmithing, knifemaking and riding his motorcycle. He became a K-9 handler in November 2018 with his K-9, Dani. K-9 Dani is a black German shepherd from Czech Republic and was born in August 2016. Dani began his career in the United States at the Mansfield Police Department, and we were fortunate to acquire him from them.  He is trained in narcotics detection, building searches, tracking and criminal apprehension. Dani is a dual purpose certified K-9 currently assigned to 2nd shift with his handler Dep. Hall.

Dep. Taylor & K-9 Kimber

Dep. Taylor started at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office in December 2016. He began his career in the corrections division and was later transferred to the enforcement division. Dep. Taylor is a member of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, a life member of the Ashland VFW, Gibson Masonic Lodge #301 and Widows Sons Masonic Riders. In his free time, he enjoys working on cars, coaching sports and riding his motorcycle. Dep. Taylor began as a K-9 handler in December 2018 at the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office with K-9 Kimber but was previously a K-9 handler in Huron County. K-9 Kimber is a multi-colored German shepherd who was born on November 11, 2015.  Kimber has been with ACSO since April 2017.  She is trained in narcotics detection, building searches, tracking and criminal apprehension. K-9 Kimber is also serving as the school K-9 at Mapleton Schools with her handler who is also the Mapleton School Resource Officer. Kimber and Dep. Taylor teach D.A.R.E. to Mapleton students grades kindergarten through high school. 


D.A.R.E. / SRO PROGRAM

Deputy Angie Hamilton serves as Black River Schools Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. Program Instructor

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Deputy Angie Hamilton joined the Sheriff's Office in May of 1997. During her career, she has worked in the Communications, Enforcement and Administration divisions. She was assigned duties as the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer in 2002 and as a S.R.O. (School Resource Officer) in 2007.  Deputy Hamilton has taught the D.A.R.E. program in Mapleton, Hillsdale, Loudonville and Black River Local School Districts.  Beginning in December of 2011, Deputy Hamilton became the S.R.O. and D.AR.E. Officer for Black River Schools.  She is also an A.L.I.C.E (Active Shooter) training instructor. Deputy Hamilton is a member of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, D.A.R.E. Ohio Executive Committee Member, The Christ Community Evangelical Free Church and the Ashland County Republican Women's Club.  She is married to retired Captain Terry Hamilton and has a daughter. Her hobbies include being with family, traveling, horseback riding, shopping, and scrapbooking.


Deputy Brian Martin serves as Hillsdale Schools Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. Program Instructor 

Deputy Brian Martin joined the Ashland County Sheriff's Office in January of 2001. During his career, he has worked in the Corrections and Enforcement Divisions. In June of 2018 he was assigned to the Hillsdale Local School District as the S.R.O. (School Resource Officer).  He recently became a certified D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructor and an A.L.I.C.E (Active Shooter) training instructor.  He is currently the Assistant C.E.R.T. (Corrections Emergency Response Team) Commander.  Deputy Martin is a member of the Presbyterian Church in Perrysville, Ohio.  He is married to his wife Kelly Newcomer-Martin and has 2 daughters. His hobbies are watching his daughters' sporting events, hunting, fishing and spending time with his family. 



Deputy Shaun Taylor serves as Mapleton’s School Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. Program Instructor

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Deputy Shaun Taylor joined the Ashland County Sheriff's Office in November of 2016.  He was previously a K-9 Handler for Huron County. He began his career in Ashland in the Corrections Division and then transferred to the Enforcement Division.  He was assigned duties as a substitute S.R.O. (School Resources Officer) in 2017 and in 2018 became a certified D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer.  He is also an A.L.I.C.E (Active Shooter) training instructor.  Deputy Taylor is a K-9 handler and he and his partner Kimber will be teaching D.A.R.E. to Mapleton Students in Kindergarten through High School.  Deputy Taylor is a member of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, a Life member of the Ashland VFW, Gibson Masonic Lodge #301, Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association and a little league baseball coach for Lefty Grove Baseball. He is married to Shawna and together they have 8 children.  His hobbies include working on cars, coaching sports and riding his motorcycles.