Fayette deputies seek money for bomb detection K-9

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office aims to raise funds for a new bomb-detection dog, replacing a K-9 who died last year, Sheriff Mike Fridley announced Wednesday.

A fully trained and certified bomb-detection dog is available for purchase, but the department needs $7,500.

“We simply don’t have the funding available to fund such a major purchase at this time,” said Fridley. “We already have a trained handler ready to partner with this bomb-detection K-9. After a short period to permit the handler to bond with the dog and develop a working partnership, this bomb-detection K-9 will be ready for deployment.

“Our K-9 Unit works hard to keep our citizens safe. We need the assistance of the public, however, to make sure our K-9 officers continue to have the best-trained keen-nosed partners possible to ensure their continued effectiveness,” he added.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit currently has two bloodhounds that are fully certified in tracking and two Dutch shepherds that are fully trained and certified in drug detection and tracking. But Fridley explained that a bomb-detection dog is needed to keep schools safe and check vendors during the annual Bridge Day celebration.

Bomb-detection K-9s are also used to search for discarded or hidden firearms during criminal investigations, and would have been “incredibly useful” during the recent Oak Hill murder, he said.

An untrained golden retriever was subsequently donated to the sheriff’s office to be trained as a bomb-detection K-9 last year, but after several months of training, this dog was found to be unsuitable for use in this role.

Anyone wishing to make a donation toward the purchase of this bomb-detection K-9 should make a check payable to the “Fayette County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association” and specify on the memo line that this donation is for the purchase of a bomb dog.

Donations may also be dropped off at the Fayetteville office or mailed to the Sheriff’s Office at PO Box 509, Fayetteville, WV 25840.

— Email: splummer@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @Sarah_E_Plummer

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