By Sarah Plummer
There’s a new dog in town at the Beckley Police Department and his human partner, Cpl. Jamie Blume, said he’s already earning his board and keep.
The newest addition to the K-9 unit is Ciro, a 19-month-old German shepherd from Slovakia.
Although Ciro has been on the job less than three weeks, Blume said he has racked up 20 marijuana finds and two cocaine finds.
Blume said his biggest bust was finding a half pound of marijuana during a routine traffic stop, resultong in two felony arrests.
Ciro is a Nationally Certified Dual Purpose dog. So, in addition to being trained in detecting marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, he can track and apprehend suspects, said Blume.
“Having dogs like this are force multipliers. If there was a building broken into and a suspect might be inside, Ciro could clear the building in 10 minutes whereas a team of 10 men might take an hour,” Blume explained. “He would be able to locate a gun in a field quickly. These dogs increase our manpower and decrease the time spent.”
Ciro would also be able to assist the police in locating missing children or the elderly.
Blume said he has been on the force for 12 years and has wanted to be a K-9 officer for some time.
He traveled to Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpeville, Pa., to meet and train with Ciro for two months before returning to Beckley. Ciro had already spent an additional two months in training and Blume continues to works with the dog each day. The dog will be expected to pass a certifying test annually.
Ciro is a passive alert dog, which means he will sit down when he locates an illegal substance instead of digging, scratching or barking.
Ciro replaces the recently retired K-9 Vinnie and is the third dog in the unit.
Blume said the unit is usually staffed with four dogs and he anticipates a fourth dog coming on board in the future.
Ciro lives with Blume and reportedly gets along well with all members of the Blume family, including the family’s existing dog.
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org