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BPD Earls takes second in patrol

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

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

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

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

Earls said the dog will be missed. Although without a dog andinjured in the fire, Picou continued to help police in their drugenforcement 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 andpatrol.

Sgt. Paul Cox, of the Bay St. Louis Police Department, and hisdog “Dar” were named “Top Dog” and overall winner. The team wasfirst in the patrol competition and third in the narcoticsportion.

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

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

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

The top five finishers in both the patrol and narcoticscompetitions 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 weekwas dog certification. Police dogs must be certified by anorganization like the USPCA, and certification is good when tryingto prove cases in criminal court.

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

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