Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Drug Czar in Town

Joe Flannery

Athens County has been facing a drug problem for years, and Sheriff Pat Kelly has made it a point to address this issue.

Sheriff Kelly brought in Esko, a new part of the law enforcement in Athens County.

Esko is a German Shepard recently added to deter the growing drug problem in the area. The dog has paid immediate dividends as she has helped in three drug related stops in less than two weeks on the force.

John Morris, K-9 Handler

The stops were routine traffic stops but with the help of Esko, the officer was able to find marijuana in one stop, and pills in the other. The drug sniffing canine was crucial in the stops since the marijuana in particular was hidden in the trunk above the wheel, a spot hard to uncover for a normal officer.

The new found attention to drugs is something Sheriff Kelly has been advocating since obtaining his position. The hope is that with the help of a canine more drugs can be taken off the streets.

Lieutenant of Operations Bryan Cooper

The big reason for the canine unit is to act as a deterrent for those traveling through Athens County. The presence of a dog is expected to slow down the amount of drug traffic in the area.

This is not the first time Athens County has had a canine on the force. The police department formerly used drug dogs but hasn't employed one in months.

Athens County Sheriff's Police Department is expected to add a second dog in the next few weeks.

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