Sheriff’s K9 hire to be applauded

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 9, 2017

At the end of his first shift working for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Barry deserved a good high five, or paw five, for a job well done.

What he may have preferred, however, was a good belly rub or a scratch behind the ears.

Barry is no ordinary deputy. He is the sheriff’s newest canine officer, who along with his handler deputy Dustin Smith apprehended a suspect who ran from law enforcement.

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On the surface, canine units can be expensive. They cost a great deal of money to purchase and train the dogs, along with the upkeep.

But their cost pales in comparison to their worth, when used well.

In his first bust of an alleged bad guy, Barry did as trained, located the suspect, threatened him with a vicious bark and then kept the man at bay until human deputies could arrive and handcuff the suspect.

Trained law enforcement dogs serve three vital services.

First, they can track people by scent, both good folks who might have become lost as well as bad guys who are trying to lose themselves.

They can also provide a threat to suspects and hold them in position until human handlers can help.

Finally, and most important, such dogs save lives. By putting themselves in the line of fire they take on threats that, in doing so, help keep human deputies out of harm’s way.

We applaud the sheriff’s department for bringing Barry into the department and look forward to many more instances of seeing his great potential.