This is, uh, well, interesting.
CAPE CANAVERAL - His name doesn't exactly help.
But Pocket Dog -- all eight pounds of him -- is no lightweight when it comes to crimefighting.
P.D., as he's known, is the newest member of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit, and he's trained to detect heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine.
Go ahead and laugh, deputies say. But this white and black rat terrier can perform many of the same tasks as his much larger counterparts such as the German shepherd, and also easily squeeze under vehicles and into small compartments in ships and boats.
"There's been some snickering from some of the other K-9 officers," the Sheriff's Canaveral Precinct Commander Doug Scragg said. "But I think they've been very surprised by his performance."
The sheriff's office now has 23 dogs to help apprehend suspects, search for narcotics, detect explosives and sometimes hunt for missing persons, which it says makes deputies more efficient and keeps them safer. P.D. is the tiniest of the group.
P.D. was rescued by Room For One More, a Citrus County dog rescue group, and adopted by the sheriff's office, which immediately recognized his potential.
Scragg said he started exploring the possibility of using a small dog for drug detection several months ago.
"From my days in narcotics, I thought a small dog like that would serve well in a single-minded task," he said. "I wanted to test the theory."
Sgt. Michael Green, the K-9 training supervisor at the sheriff's office, said P.D. was put through five weeks of training.
"After the second week he started catching on," Green said. "We knew he would be doing good."
Deputy Robert Manley, the dog's handler, said P.D. can do things in narcotics detection that the other dogs can't.
In a demonstration this week, P.D. sniffed for drugs around the edge of a sports utility vehicle that towered over him.
"Where is it, show me where is it?" Manley said with urgency but in a low voice as he lead the dog around the vehicle.
Suddenly, P.D. sat up and looked up to Manley. He'd found the small packet of heroin hidden on the underside of the vehicle as part of the demonstration.
After a job well done, P.D. leapt and bounced like a football player who just made the winning touchdown or baseball player who hit a home run in the final game of a World Series.
On duty with the department for just a few weeks, P.D. has already helped search at least 11 vehicles. He detected small amounts of drugs or evidence of drugs on four cases.
One case resulted in an arrest on charges of possession of marijuana.
Like all new employees, P.D. also had to learn how to separate work from play, his handler said.
"Home is home and work is work," Manley said. "He won't work at home. He knows when it's time to go to work. When I put on my uniform, he's ready."
Lisa Jacobson, president of Room for One More and of the Humane Society of Citrus County, said she's not surprised P.D. is performing so well. When she spotted the dog's hyper energy, she became determined to find a place for him in a police unit to save him from being euthanized.
She said: "He was intense, and I knew he wouldn't go into a regular home."
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11-23-2007, 11:41 AM #1
Brevard County Sheriffs Office "Pocket Dog"AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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11-24-2007, 12:39 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- N. Ridgeville, Ohio
While I am sure this is novel in Florida, the Geauga County Sheriff's in Ohio have had some sort of drop kick dog doing this for a few years now. He has even won some awards. Noone expects him to be a police dog at all.Jason Brooks
IAFF Local 2388
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