Jackson County Sheriff’s Office new K9 earns national certification

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JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has a new four-legged tool to hunt for narcotics.

Riley proves that not all K9s have to look ferocious.

She is putting a new spin on what a narcotics-sniffing dog looks like.

“You see all these young guys running around with these Belgium Malinois or these big German Shepherds and here I am with this pretty bird dog,” narcotics investigator Lt. Rick Bremer.

The young German Short-Haired Pointer has been with Bremer for about three months.

Bremer told News 19 he and Riley are still getting to know each other.

He said the biggest thing he has to get used to is trusting her nose and not solely his brain.

“The first time we went to try and certify, I was nervous, of course. I think that I know what’s going on,” said Bremer. “I don’t smell it, I don’t see it, I don’t know where it’s at, but she does, and she showed me a few times during that exam that I need to trust my dog and let her do what she does.”

While she may not look intimidating, her keen sense of smell should frighten anyone hiding illegal drugs.

Riley was trained at the McCreary K9 facility and donated to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The department is paying for the training, though.

Riley is now officially nationally certified to search and find illegal drugs.

“Sometimes she’s alerted and pointed, and sometimes she’s alerted and barked, and sometimes it’s even been as simple as she’ll sit, and look at where it’s supposed to be and look at me, and then look back at where it’s supposed to be it and say ‘it’s right here dummy’, but since she’s come in, she’s let me know how smart K9s are, how well-tuned their noses are to certain scents and they’ve got a good memory of what those scents are,” explained Bremer.

He told News 19 he has already done searches at the jail, but he plans to start taking her out on patrol calls when there’s the suspicion of drugs and doing school run-throughs soon. 

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