Sheriff Dean Howell announced the formation of a new K-9 Unit within the Sheriff’s Office this week. Deputy Adam Reus and K-9 Deputy ‘Bak’ are now patrolling the George County area.
Sheriff Howell said George County Schools no longer were able to keep the K-9 Program and asked the sheriff’s office if it would be interested in adopting the dog. Absolutely was his reply and after putting it before the board of supervisors and the school board it was a done deal. Part of the adoption program is that Deputy Reus and Bak will make a number of passes throughout the schools during the year to possibly sniff out any narcotics. This still gives the school system the benefit of a K-9 but not the expense. These will be covered by fundraisers, and with the help of our local sponsor Tractor Supply.
When we approached Chad Ridgeway, the manager and Eric Phillips the assistant manager of our local Tractor Supply about a kennel, food, and the supplies to help support the K-9, they wanted to be a part of giving back to the community. Chad said “we normally can’t do things like this, but we knew the benefits to the community would vastly outweigh any cost. And we want to see illegal drugs and drug activity gone from this area”
The adoption of this dog allows the sheriff’s office to further enhance its drug apprehension plan and go where no man’s nose can go. Bak, which is a German name, can sniff out narcotics when a human can’t. Deputy Reus said Bak, a 5 year old German Shepherd, is Military Working Dog trained in Narcotics Detection and received his training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Interdiction training like the one hosted by the George County Sheriff’s office last month are aimed at the highways and can often provide big revenue for the county, because cash, property, and drugs seized become property of the sheriff’s office. It is not unheard of for seizures in the millions of dollars to be transported in one vehicle and if that vehicle is stopped in George County….then it’s ours. These seizures allow for the purchase of equipment which in turn gets used to put these drug dealers out of business.
And often knowing a K-9 is on the job, is a discouragement to drug dealers.
Sheriff Howell says “the benefits outweigh the costs, but with one good drug arrest and seizure and he has paid for himself.”
Dean Howell, Sheriff
355 Cox Street
Lucedale, MS 39452
Phone (601) 247-2064