The Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department is about to recruit a new deputy with a nose for sniffing out explosives.
The first phase of training for Zeus, a Belgian malinois who will join the department as its first bomb dog, will end soon. Afterward, Deputy Jason Dickinson, who will be the dog’s handler, will begin an eight-week training regimen during which the two will learn to work together.
Itawamba County currently has two dogs – Bing and Walter – both of whom are used for sniffing out narcotics. Both of these dogs were purchased using funds provided by the CREATE Foundation. The new dog was purchased through a grant from Homeland Security.
Dickinson is confident Zeus will prove to be just as useful as the department’s current canines.
“We’ve had a lot of drugs seized because of their assistance and we’ve been able to locate people with those dogs,” he said. “That, of course, makes our job easier and safer. It saves money and it saves lives. That’s the predominant thing we’re after, and those dogs are doing that.”