Hancock County

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New Cumberland hosts specialized K-9 training

Updated: Thursday, November 14 2013, 06:28 PM EST

By Jon Rudder

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va - Officers and canines concluded a four-day training session that wrapped up Thursday in Hancock County.

The program was designed to teach police dogs how to correctly detect illegal substances and decrease the number of false alarms.

"It's like taking our dogs from high school to college. It's brought them up that much higher," Hancock County Sheriff Ralph A. Fletcher said. "A good 95 percent of our crime is directly related to drugs. So whenever you can increase an officer's ability to locate, that's going to deter a lot of other crime that we have on the street."

Battle Born K-9 served as the instructors of the course where dogs performed drills to enhance their detection skills to help fight in the war on drugs.

"Dogs are a unique tool in that fight, because a dog can be used in a less intrusive manner to locate the odor of drugs," co-founder of Battle Born K-9 Jay Carlson said.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Office has four dogs on its squad-- which they use as a vital tool to find drugs.

"In using the dog, it speeds up the search, where it would take officers many hours to conduct a search," Carlson said.

Fletcher said the improvement from the four-day course is something that can already be seen.

In addition to detection, units were taught now to make all odors in a search area neutral to allow the dogs to zero in on any masked substances.

"It's just exciting to watch all of this come together," Fletcher said. "I know that they are taking away, when the gentlemen leave and all of these officers leave, they're taking back to their own communities a much better dog and a much better opportunity to utilize the tools that they have."

New Cumberland hosts specialized K-9 training

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