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Hancock Town Council meets new four-legged police addition

December 09, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

After being led around the Hancock Town Council's meeting room Wednesday night, it didn't take 19-month-old Rambo long to sniff out a small bag of marijuana stuffed in a cardboard box.

The box was the only one of several placed around the meeting room that contained drugs.

Rambo, a trained narcotics dog for the Hancock Police Department, has been working with the force since September.

Since that time, the dog helped police make 15 drug arrests, Police Chief Donald Gossage said.

He said police probably wouldn't have made those arrests without Rambo's help.

"The dog has worked out well for us," Gossage said.

Upon finding the marijuana, Rambo put his paws on the box indicating to the Town Council and residents at the meeting of the contents inside.

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The dog's handler, Officer T.J. Buskirk, spent four weeks of approximately 16-hour days training with the dog.

Buskirk, who described the dog as hyper, said Rambo is from Hungary and his commands are in Hungarian, Czech and a little bit of English.

The department received a grant that allowed it to obtain Rambo, and it also received contributions from residents and businesses.

At the meeting, Gossage and Buskirk handed out certificates and pictures of Buskirk with Rambo to those who made contributions.

Gossage said Rambo will help the police department clean up the town's drug problem and make it a safe place for its residents.

"We have zero tolerance for ... substance abuse," Gossage said.

"This gives us another tool to combat it," Councilman David Smith said.

Buskirk said the department will have about eight to nine years of service from Rambo, depending on health issues. The department hopes, however, Rambo can work for 10 to 12 years, he said.

Buskirk said Rambo typically gets along with people - with the exception of Gossage.

"I think the only person he hasn't got along with so far ... that's the police chief," Buskirk joked.

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