BPD Earls takes second in patrol

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2003

“Felix” dined on a T-bone Friday night.

“I promised him one,” said Brookhaven Police Sgt. Clint Earls after he and his dog finished second in the patrol portion of last week’s regional U.S. Police Canine Association (USPCA) certification competition.

As one of the patrol competition’s top five finishers, Earls will go on to represent Mississippi, which is USPCA region 26, at the national competition in Atlantic City, N.J., later this year. Twenty-three dog and handler teams participated in the certification program and competition at the Hansel King Sportsplex.

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Earls dedicated his award to “Rico,” Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Officer Chris Picou’s dog that died in a house fire in January.

Earls said the dog will be missed. Although without a dog and injured in the fire, Picou continued to help police in their drug enforcement efforts, Earls said.

“I appreciate him standing behind us like he did,” Earls said.”It was a real team effort.”

Last week’s competition included two parts: narcotics and patrol.

Sgt. Paul Cox, of the Bay St. Louis Police Department, and his dog “Dar” were named “Top Dog” and overall winner. The team was first in the patrol competition and third in the narcotics portion.

“It was a pleasure to be here in Brookhaven,” Cox said. “The competition here and caliber of dogs was extremely good.”

Other Top Five finishers in the patrol competition were: Gene Dufrene, Gulfport Police Department. third place; Keith Bond,Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, fourth place; and Mike Entrecan, private company Sniffers Unlimited, fifth place.

Top Five finishers in narcotics included: Scott Walters, Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, first place; Entrecan, second place; Cox, third place; Jamie Humphrey, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, fourth place; and Pete Robinette, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, fifth place.

The top five finishers in both the patrol and narcotics competitions will go on to national competition.

Region 26 President Gavin Guy, of the Laurel Police Department,complimented participants and the overall event.

“It was real good. We had a lot of good dogs,” Guy said.

Guy pointed out, though, that the important aspect of the week was dog certification. Police dogs must be certified by an organization like the USPCA, and certification is good when trying to prove cases in criminal court.

In addition to veteran animals, Guy said the competition included a lot of inexperienced dogs that were just out of school.He said trainers and others worked with the dogs during the week and he saw much improvement.

“The dogs are 100 percent better,” Guy said.