The Bluefield Police Department started their K-9 unit a year ago with generous donations from the community.
Since then, the unit’s dogs, Thor and Ace, have taken $100,000 worth of narcotics off the street. A third dog, along with his handler, are currently in training and will be added to the unit in the next 20 days. The department is in need of a fourth dog.
“The biggest reason why. Is that way we can cover every shift. We have four shifts, two days shifts and two night shifts here and we want a dog on each of those shifts,” said Sgt. Copenhaver.
The handlers of these dogs say they are a huge help and make their job more efficient.
“The thing is we can’t smell like a dog does, the dog can tell us through his nose, what he is smelling if something is there or not, plus it saves us time. If we are walking around a car and he doesn’t indicate on that car, we don’t need to search that we can just move on to another one,” said Sgt. Copenhaver.
The canines are not just part of the police department, but much more.
“They are actually just family, they are close to us, they’re our partner,” said Sgt. Copenhaver. “You build a very deep bound with the dog.”
In order to increase their unit they need $25,000 to buy the dog, put a handler through training and equip the K-9 vehicle. If you wish to contribute to the K-9 Unit you can send your donations to the Bluefield Police Department, 200 South Mercer Street, Bluefield, WV 24701 and be sure to add “K-9 Unit” in the memo of any check.