Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 6, 2014

Flatwoods Police Department starts K-9 unit

Belgian Malinois sniffs out drugs, has tracking skills

FLATWOODS — The newest member of the Flatwoods Police Department has four legs and an extremely sensitive noise meant for tracking.

The newly established K-9 unit in Flatwoods consists of Sgt. Joe Carver and his canine friend from Holland named Bishop.

Carver said the plan for a K-9 unit began to come together in October and November of last year after the Russell Independent School District came up with the idea of purchasing a dog to help better assist in keeping illegal substances out of the schools.

Bishop is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, according to Carver, a breed frequently used in law enforcement.

“They are widely used for their muscle structure and their agility,” Carver said.

Besides accompanying Carver, Bishop is a drug and search dog.

“Other than being on patrol with me, he is a narcotic dog, sniffs out marijuana, helps at traffic stops, helps with building searches, helps in searching for elderly. He is trained in tracking,” Carver said.

According to Carver, they took to the streets on June 3 and have already had a few successes.

Before going to work, Bishop attended training in Madison County, W.Va., at Battle Ridge Kennels and K-9 Services. Carver joined Bishop there from March 22 through April 4.

“It was basically a time where I was got used to him and he got used to me,” he said.

Bishop stays with Carver 24/7. He has a kennel at Carver’s house to give him plenty of space.

“We have a pretty good connection. He has really taken up to me — increased protection for me around strangers.”

Carver has experience with police dogs, previously working with one at the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.

Carver has high aspirations for the future of the K-9 unit.

“I’d like to say we will progress, taking more drugs off the streets and out of the school systems,” he said.

MARY ALFORD can be reached at malford@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2657.


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