St. John K-9 division introduced

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 30, 1998

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / November 30, 1998

LAPLACE – Criminals beware! The St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office now hasa trained full K-9 division, able to handle anything from pursuits to drug enforcement to crowd control.

“This was one thing I’ve been wanting to do,” Sheriff Wayne L. Jones said,who added the division will provide around-the-clock K-9 services, available to every shift.

“These dogs have a presence that commands respect,” Jones observed.

Division Commander Lt. Chuck Bazile and Boy, a 7-year-old DutchShepherd, is now joined by Deputy Stephen Hefler and Justment (a Rottweiller), Deputy Brian L. Bertrand and Jordan (a German Shepherd),Deputy Keith Brooks and Bubba (a Rottweiller) and Deputy James Nolan and Roc (a Belgian Malonis).

Roc joins Boy as drug dogs, while the others can pursue suspects, work crowd control and handle security work.

The teams graduated Nov. 17 from the academy operated by the LafourcheParish Sheriff’s Office, Bertrand and Jordan earning “Top Team” awards.

Jones said that several times a year the dog squad will be available for public demonstrations. The drug dogs are immediately available to areaschools for drug-sniffing chores, and principals are invited to phone 652- 7058 to arrange it.

Jones added plans are to add an explosive-sniffing expert dog and a cadaver-locating dog to the squad in time. Each dog is housed by hispartner, while the sheriff’s office underwrites the cost of vets and feeding.

The officers also have specially-equipped vehicles for safe transport of the dogs, and each officer also carries a remote-operating door release to let loose the dog from the car in an emergency.

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