The Pueblo West View

Canine officers visit elementary school

Dogs are more than a man’s best friend.

He also can be protector, caretaker and inspector.

The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and their canine detective K-9 Jenny took some time to show off their skills at a Pueblo District 70 School Career Day.

Jenny demonstrated “take-downs” and some tracking skills in front of the entire school.

“The dogs are always a big success and we enjoy getting to know so many of the kids in our community,” said K-9 supervisor Lieutenant Tracy Swearingen, who said he knows his team is always a favorite of the students during career days.

Developing relationships with elementary schools kids isn’t the only thing the K-9 Unit has been doing in 2014, they have contributed to significant law enforcement efforts, Swearingen said.

In just these first months, the unit has participated in arrests, suspect tracking, narcotics busts, the recovery of large amounts of cash, and have even recovered seven stolen weapons.

The Sheriff’s Office K-9’s have responded with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office SWAT four times and also have been partners of the Pueblo Police Department by responding to calls for service inside the city more than a dozen times since January, officials said.

Recently, the team participated in the first portion of the 2014 United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Trials.

In Narcotics Detection competition, PCSO K-9 Jenny and her handler Deputy Myers scored a near perfect score and placed in the top three out of 21 teams.

While Jenny was getting noticed in detection, PCSO K-9 KOA and Deputy Bernal certified in both Narcotics Detection and Tracking. Trial deployments ranged from vehicle narcotic searches to Field Tracking Searches and PCSO K-9 PC and her handler, PCSO Deputy Talton participated in many of the successful deployments and certified in Narcotics Detection.

Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor also encourages the use of the K-9’s in the detention center.

“Having them is definitely an asset,” Taylor said.

“The detection skills, take-down abilities, and tracking talents, mean they can be [used] in all three Sheriff’s Office Bureaus, law, detention, and emergency services. They may be the single most versatile resource we have.”

The PCSO K-9’s live with their handlers, who are all certified deputies with the Sheriff’s Office.

They become part of that deputy’s family just as much as they become an important member of the Sheriff’s Office family.

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