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Police dog helps convince inmates to return to cells

January 06, 1997

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

Officials at the Washington County Detention Center brought in a police dog from the Hagerstown City Police at about 9 p.m. Sunday night after roughly 60 inmates refused to move from the gymnasium to their cells, officials said.

Lt. Van Evans, the facility's warden, said officials called for assistance when the inmates refused to lock down. Evans, who was at home during the disturbance, said the inmates went quietly after the dog arrived.

"They locked down right after that with little trouble," he said.

Hagerstown City Police Sgt. William Wright said he was asked for help and sent the one dog he had available.

"One is all they needed," he said. "Apparently, it worked fine."

Evans said the K-9 dogs are especially useful when there are a large numbers of unruly prisoners.

"They can take the place of many men," he said.

Evans said the detention center has trouble with individual inmates from time to time, but he said it is "out of the ordinary" for a large group to refuse to return to their living quarters.

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"We always have a few inmates who are disgruntled and refuse to lock down. That's not unusual," he said. "But if a group of them refuses, that's a rare occurrence."

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