The newest member of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department wasted no time in proving her value. Chief Deputy Bill Vaughn says the K-9 member of the team’s trained to sniff out explosives. On Tuesday of this week, a bomb threat was called in to the Polk County Courthouse and Vaughn says the department had a dog and another from the state fire marshal’s office that could search the building faster and better than people could. The new, specially-trained dog just finished a round of lessons with her handler in late September. Vaughn says it’s a resource the department’s never had before — a dog that can detect explosives and ignitable products in Polk County and other places where it’s “dispatched” in the state. He says what might have taken a couple hours, like searching the courthouse from top to bottom, was done in half an hour. The training of dog and deputy was made possible by a mutual-aid application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Deputy Doug Glenn was sent to Fort Royal, Virginia, to the ATF’s canine training school for both dog and handler. “Teri” and Deputy Glenn finished the ten-week course and went into service in the Polk County Sheriff’s Department September 22nd. Barely two weeks later their skills were needed. The dog will be used as part of “Project Safe Neighborhoods,” and deployed with the task force any time they go out to search for firearms or explosives.
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