Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 23, 2014

Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office adds K-9 unit

TAZEWELL — Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office adds one new furry, four-legged member to the team.

Tazewell Sheriff’s Department Deputy M.B. Steele and new K-9 unit Bruno went through their official training Friday.

“These canines just enhance what we do in the community, just like everyday tools they help us find drugs and it’s just a bonus that they are trained to do searches,” Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt said.

The sheriff’s department now has two dogs that are trained in narcotics and search and rescue.

Before Bruno, the department only had one K-9 officer, Evo, a Belgian Malinois, who has helped make multiple drug arrest and also assisted in the arrest of an escaped inmate, Hieatt said.

Bruno, a Czech Shepherd-Malinois mix, went through extensive training before the sheriff’s department received him.

“The dog must go through a training program, plus a yearly 40 hour in-service training and also a once a month training,” Hieatt said.

Southwest Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy Training Coordinator Tim Tester was on scene to evaluate the K-9’s performance.

Bruno performed a couple different tests including off-lead obedience, attack or bite work and a narcotics search, which included indoor and outdoor drug searches.

“These dogs are trained on marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroine,” Major Harold Heatley said.

Lt. Chuck McNerlin suited up in a heavily padded suit, where the dogs demonstrated their abilities to attack.

Even with the extremely windy conditions both dogs were still able to perform drug searches on the exterior of vehicles.

K-9 unit Evo and handler Corp. J.M. Caldwell also ran through the training course.

Evo has been with the sheriff’s department for a little over a year.

“Ever since the first day, I have fed, bathed and cared for Evo. He really is part of the family. I spend more time with him than my own family. I talk to him just like a person. He sticks his head through the sliding glass window, rests his head on my shoulder and we ride around. It’s nice to know I always have back up. I always take at least 30 minutes a day to do something with him, such as play ball, because at the end of the day he is still a dog,” Caldwell said.

Evo is also trained with hand signals which are used in situations where you might not be able to talk, such as with the SWAT team, Caldwell explained.

After about five or six years, depending on the dog, the sheriff’s office will retire the K-9 and most of the time, the dog goes to live with their handler.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • U.S. shipping coal overseas

    July 28, 2014 1 Story

  • Firefighters worked scenario nearly identical to tunnel incident

    David Thompson Sr., chief of the Green Valley-Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department said on Sunday that regional emergency responders had met in Wytheville, Va., in June to discuss a emergency response that was similar to the real life emergency that occurred Friday afternoon in the northbound lanes of the East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 28, 2014

  • Elite eight... Eight inducted into Tazewell High School Hall of Fame

    The Elite Eight were honored by the Tazewell High School Hall of Fame Saturday.
    Eight honorees — Glen Riddle, Charles Grindstaff, Whitney Davis, Carol Green Robertson, James “Robbie” Colley, Ralph “Moon” Mullins, James Farley and Don Necessary, Sr. — were inducted Saturday at THS in the seventh annual presentation coordinated by chairman Lawrence (Debo) Johnson. They join 50 previous honorees in the select group of former graduates, supporters and friends of THS as chosen by the HOF committee.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blue Jays Sunday Danville nips Bluefield in 12 innings

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice scenario nearly identical to real-life tunnel fire

    July 27, 2014

  • Crash... Two transported from Route 460 wreck

    Two people were transported to a Mercer County hospital following a two-vehicle wreck Sunday afternoon on U.S. Route 460 at the intersection with Willowbrook Road.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PRINCETON POLICE DEPARTMENT July 17-23

    July 27, 2014

  • Active warrants in Tazewell County July 27 Active warrants in Tazewell County July 27

    The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking the following individuals. Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of these individuals can call the sheriff’s office at 276-988-1167 or the Tazewell County 911 Center at  276-988-0902.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_4822.jpg All tunnel lanes open

    Traffic on Interstate 77 was still backed up about 14 miles in Bland County, Va., Saturday evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation reported at about 6 p.m. that both northbound lanes of I-77 through East River Mountain were open to traffic.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 2 Slideshows

  • First on scene... Firefighters’ story: Working together put the fire out

    Lights in the southern end of the tunnel illuminate an odd design beside the catwalk near the left lane of the northbound tube of the East River Mountain Tunnel that transports I-77 from Virginia into West Virginia. Two firefighters who made the initial assault through the total darkness of the soot and smoke-filled tunnel left those marks as they slid their arms along the catwalk wall on their journey back to the light.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

National and World
Newspaper Deivery Routes Available
Sister Newspapers' News
Facebook
Local News Videos