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Officer leaving; wants to take drug dog

Narcotics officer Chris Picou is leaving the Lincoln CountySheriff’s Department, but whether his drug dog Carlo goes remainsto be seen.

Picou, whose last day will be Oct. 31, discussed the drug dogsituation with supervisors during Monday’s meeting.

The officer has offered to purchase the partially-trained dog,which was bought earlier this year for approximately $5,100, for$1,500. Picou estimated it would cost about $4,500 more to completethe dog’s training.

“The dog is going to cost you more money to keep,” Picousaid.

However, board attorney Bob Allen said the board would need towait and see what the new sheriff’s intentions are regarding a drugdog. If the dog is not needed, Allen said, it would have to bedeclared surplus property and put up for public bids.

“There’s no way to do a private sale,” Allen said, although heagreed to contact other counties’ board attorneys who may havedealt with similar drug dog situations and see how they handledthem.

Picou said the new sheriff will have one trained dog, Ricky,that works with Narcotics Officer Dustin Bairfield.

“It’s time for the dog to make its way,” Picou said.

Picou’s Carlo replaced his dog Rico, who died in a family housefire earlier this year. Carlo has been trained in marijuanadetection, but needs more training in other areas.

“He’s still got a ways to go as far as cocaine, meth, trackingand bite work,” Picou said.

In addition to training expenses should the county keep the dog,Picou said there will be housing costs.

Under federal wage and hour guidelines, Picou currently receives$17 a day for attending to the dog. The officer, who has opened akennel service, has agreed to continue to house the dog for thegoing rate of $8 a day.

“I’m not trying to leave Lincoln County in any kind of bind,”Picou said.

Picou said he would be starting work for the Madison CountySheriff’s Department on Nov. 1. He said the family is currentlyhouse-hunting in the community.

Picou cited family and professional reasons for his decision toleave Lincoln County. He indicated the defeat of incumbent SheriffLynn Boyte was a factor.

“I just didn’t think it was in my best interest to stay with theLincoln County Sheriff’s Department with a new administration,”said Picou, adding that he was reluctant to leave the county. “It’sprobably the best place I’ve ever lived.”

Post 1 Constable Wiley Calcote defeated Boyte, who was seeking afifth term as sheriff, in the Democratic runoff primary on Aug. 26.Calcote faces Republican Charley Evans and independent candidateJames Williams Jr. in the Nov. 4 general election.

In other business Monday, Lincoln County Civil Defense DirectorClifford Galey spoke to the board about financing for Heuck’sRetreat Volunteer Fire Department’s new $211,274 pumper truck.Galey expected the truck to arrive in the near future.

“It’s on the assembly line now and we’re hoping to have it heresometime in November,” Galey said.