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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
May 2, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 2, 2018

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SPIRIT of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE NEWS / LOCAL PAGE C5 Wednesday, May 2, 2018 Sheriff's master trainers help officers, dogs hone their skills By BONNIE WILLIAMSON Special to the Spirit KEARNEYSVILLE - Twice each month, Sgt. Brandon Conway and Depu- ty G.W. Kilmer spend hours in the parking lot of the Jef- Sgt. Brandon eonway and ferson County Sheriff De- Deputy G.W. Kilmer partment here to do their part to stop illegal drugs from flowing into Jeffer- son County. The parking lot is where Conway and Kilmer train officers and their K-9 partners to find hidden narcotics and track suspects. The two master trainers work with K-9 teams in their own department as well as from the Charles Town Police Department, the Shep- herdstown Police Department, the Shepherd University police, the Morgan County Sheriff Department, the Berkeley Springs Police De- partment and others. Conway said part of the K-9 team training involves the dogs alerting their handlers to drugs placed in specific places on de- partment vehicles like above ve- hicle wheels and under bumpers in cars parked in the sheriff de- partment parking lot. The drugs are provided with special per- mission from the Drug Enforcement Admin- istration. "No drugs are placed inside the vehicles," Conway said. "The dogs point to where the drugs are then wait to be rewarded with a toy. Sometimes they try to fool us because they want their toys, but we know." Conway said when the program began in 2005, each dog cost about $10,000. "But over the years, because we have become more self- sufficient with the training, costs have been RIGHT: Cpl. Duetln Tabler with the Jefferson County Sheriff Department rewards his dog Melt with a toy for alerting him to drugs during a training exercise at the department. reduced," he said. The men in the K-9 units live with their dogs, so a strong bond is formed. Kilmer rais- es German shepherds and his dog Hanz is part of the K-9 team. Fritzi, a K-9 that Kilmer had raised, died three years ago while on patrol with the Berkeley Springs Police Department when the vehicle Fritzi was in skidded into a creek, and Fritzi drowned. Both Conway and Kilmer said people in the community respond well to the dogs. Young- sters can come to the sheriff department to meet the dogs and learn about them. "Our dogs would do anything for us," Con- way said. "They want to please their handlers. They are a part of our families." BONNIE WILLIAMSON i~!ilil,ii Now through May 31, start (or renew) your subscription to the pirit and you'll get a reward - your choice of a delicious handcrafted pastry from M Street Bakery FREE! Call office manager Cara Young ii ii! i I ~::,~::~,:,~i~i~,:?~, ~,~i~,~,~~ ~, ~, !~/~i,~ 304-725-2046, ext. 221 618 N. Mildred St. in Ranson 304-930-1363 coming your business in our special Mother's out on May 9, just ahead of the big Day We have ads to fit every budget- and we'll design yours at no cost! section Call Mary Burns at 304-725-2046, ext. 223 or or Brenda Woodward Grisham at 304-725-2046, ext. 224 or Secure your ad space now! West Virginian Anna Jarvis (right) started the modem holiday of Mother's in 1908 at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton. became a national holiday in 1914. I I