The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office has a new deputy that is paws, nose and ears ahead of his fellow officers.
K-9 Edge has been teamed up with Deputy Daniel Grigsby to the department’s new K-9 unit.
Edge is a five-year-old Belgian Malinoise that was donated to the sheriff’s department by Free Spirit Kennels.
“We have been wanting a dog for a long time,” said Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, the department’s public affairs officer. “They contacted us and offered us the dog.”
Acciardo said both Edge and Grigsby initially underwent individual training.
As part of Edge’s training, he has learned obedience, article search, area search, tracking, building search and aggression control. In addition, Edge is certified in drug and narcotic detection including: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana.
“Those are the prevalent drugs we see right now,” Acciardo said. “If we see a new drug appear in the area, we can send Edge back to school to get certified in detecting it.”
Edge and Grigsby then went to Cookeville, Tenn. for training to become a certified K-9 team by the National American Police Work Dog Association.
In addition, Grigsby and Edge will be doing public relations for the department.
“They will be available for educational programs,” Acciardo said. “Kids and staff will be able to get close to him and see what his capabilities are.”
Acciardo said Grigsby and Edge will be assigned to the third shift from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.
However, should something arise that requires Edge’s unique skills, the team will be on-call.
Acciardo said Grigsby is the only deputy that will handle Edge. Should Grigsby be off work due to illness, Edge will be sidelined as well.
“Other police agencies in the area have dogs,” Acciardo noted. “If Grigsby was unable to work and we needed a dog, we could call on one of them.”
Laurel County Sheriff John Root said Edge will be a valuable tool in the department’s on-going effort to quell the drug problem in the county.
“In addition, this K-9 team will be a vital part of the sheriff’s, and is a valuable asset to the citizens of Laurel County,” Root said.