The Doddridge County Sheriff's Department recently grew in number. Two brand new officers are ready to serve and protect the citizens of Doddridge County.
“With the drug issue we have and the influx of traffic we've got. It's a good idea for officer safety, that's another officer in the car with them that they can use for backup,” said Mike Headley, Doddridge County Sheriff.
Sheriff Headley is talking about Blackie and Ekko, K-9 officers who the department got just last month.
Blackie is a 16-month-old Dutch Sheppard paired with Deputy Sheriff Chris Garner.
Garner said he jumped at the opportunity to have Blackie, and even though he has only had him a little more than a month, there is already a connection.
“It's been a joy. My three-year-old daughter loves him to death. She gets out there and plays with him, he'll sit on the ground and let her love on him and he returns it. That was a big thing for us in our department was to make sure our animals worked well and they were good in a home setting with our families,” explained Garner.
Joining Blackie on the force is Ekko, a two and a half year old Belgian Malinois who is working with Deputy Sheriff Kirby Miller.
Miller said just like Blackie, Ekko is good with his family.
When it comes to work, both dogs are trained in patrol, and narcotics.
“He loves my family; he is a very social dog, unless you tell him otherwise. He is trained to find heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana,” Miller said.
Although both dogs are still training, Garner said Blackie has already been a benefit to the department.
“I have done a couple home searches. The families in the home have been adamant that they don't utilize any illegal substance, but both times he has been able to find their marijuana pipes,” Garner explained.
The dogs will be finished with initial training in about a week, but each must get 16 hours of additional training every month.