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'Dual-purpose K-9' joins Town of Bath Police Department

March 08, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A new officer was sworn in recently by Bath Mayor Susan Webster as an official member of the Town of Bath Police Department. He even wears his own badge.

K-9 Butch, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, is a "dual-purpose K-9," said Police Chief James Minton, and he will be used for patrol work, as well as for drug searches.

Butch has been trained in tracking, building and area searches and suspect apprehension, Minton said. He is not trained in explosives, he said.

He is assigned to Cpl. Craig Pearrell, who has received K-9 handler training and lives on Pearrell's property. Pearrell said Butch can understand his hand signals from 100 yards away.

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More than 30 individuals and businesses in the community donated about $13,000 to pay for the K-9, Pearrell's training and the vehicle, a 1998 Chevy Blazer, Minton said.

"They saw a need for it," he said. "Officer K-9 is a great asset to the police department."

Getting a K-9 for the police department has been something the town has wanted for some time, said Webster, but the town could not afford it.

When Minton joined the department in January, he saw the need for it and went to the community and asked for help, he said.

"He will make this community much safer," Minton said. "His presence alone will assist in deterring crime."

K-9 Butch was imported from Germany and was trained at the Battle Ridge Kennels and Canine Services in Madison, W.Va., he said.

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