Two weeks into the job, the Corbin Police Department’s Bloodhound, Lucy, is settling into her routine while working to hone her tracking skills.
Lucy is currently working third shift, riding with Officer Robbie Hodge.
In addition to the routine patrol work, Hodge said he and Lucy use the time between calls to improve and harness her natural tracking skills.
Hodge said officers have been working to build up the distance, which now stands at about 400 yards between where Lucy begins and where her target is located.
While Lucy initially watched as her target ran from the scene, Hodge said in her current training she is learning to get a scent off of an article of clothing and follow it.
“We haven’t went out after anything we she hasn’t found,” Hodge said.
Lucy is expected to be ready to put her tracking skills to use in a real situation within three months.
“She is capable as long as the conditions are right, but she still gets distracted a little bit,” Hodge said of Lucy. “She is doing way better than I would have imagined for a 3-month-old dog.”
Lucy came to the department from Bluegrass Bloodhounds located in Leitchfield.
The Jimmy Ryce Center for Law Enforcement provided the funding for the department to obtain her.
The center is named after 9-year-old Samuel James “Jimmy” Ryce, who was abducted as he walked the four blocks between where he got off the bus from school and his home in Florida in 1995.
The man, Juan Carlos Chavez confessed to sexually assaulted Ryce before killing him. Chavez was executed in 2014.
While it is not required to have her certified in track, Hodge said the department will be working with Bluegrass Bloodhounds to obtain the certification.
When not tracking, Hodge said Lucy is a great public relations tool for the department explaining that she is very playful and great with children.
“That is what I like about her, is that she is allowed to be good with kids,” said Hodge who has children of his own at home.
“She is meant to find humans, so the more human interaction she has the better she is at her job,” Hodge said.
“I believe she is going to be a real asset for us,” he said.