Tompkinsville police officer Channing Cain sat in a chair in the police department Thursday afternoon stroking the head of a large dog.
When he stopped briefly, the dog, a Dutch shepherd named Jackal, nudged his hand for him to continue.
Jackal is Cain’s new partner and the first drug dog the police department has had in 15 years.
“Tompkinsville, they’ve needed a K9 unit for awhile now,” Cain said.
The police department has been trying to acquire a drug dog for several years.
“We’ve been working at it and we finally got into the position where we could get one,” said Police Chief Dale Ford.
The police department cut corners in order to save enough money to afford the purchase, he said. Several donations from local businesses and organizations were also made to the police department to help cover the cost to build a kennel and to purchase other things Jackal might need.
Jackal has two years of experience as a drug dog. He came to the Tompkinsville Police Department from the Lafayette City Police Department in Tennessee and has worked with drug task force agencies also in Tennessee.
“After watching this dog work, I was very impressed by it,” Ford said.
There are two types of drug dogs — passive and aggressive.
Cain explained a passive dog will sit down if he detects drugs, whereas an aggressive dog will scratch the spot where he thinks the drugs are.
“Jackal is an aggressive dog,” he said.
Cain, who has never worked as a K9 handler in the past, is spending a couple of weeks getting to know Jackal. They are together 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Once they develop a bond, they will then begin training together, which Cain said will take about four weeks. After completing their training, they will begin patrolling together.
Cain picked Jackal up last Friday and said so far the time they’ve spent together has been a great experience.
“He’s a very good dog. We’ve taken to each other pretty quickly,” Cain said.
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