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County to receive tracking dog

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will welcome a new member to its force next month in the form of a tracking dog.

Lincoln County Constable Kelly Porter informed the Board of Supervisors Monday that the dog promised to the county is currently in an eight-week training program in San Antonio, Texas.

Kelly Porter

Kelly Porter

Porter said he applied for a grant through an agency in San Antonio that awards service dogs to law enforcement agencies that have a need for one.

“The county’s track dog died a few years ago, and if we had a situation where somebody was missing, we have to call outside the county to get an agency in to search for the missing person,” Porter said. “Due to the high price of these animals and the training, we were searching for some type of help with a grant.”

The dog, which Porter has named Jaxs, and his training equates to approximately $12,000 that will be given to the county, Porter said. The paperwork pertaining to the animal outlines that Lincoln County will own the dog and will be responsible for veterinarian and food bills, he said.

Jaxs will live with Porter and accompany him every day to work.

Porter said at the completion of the dog’s eight weeks of training, he will travel to San Antonio and complete two weeks of handler training with him.

“Then once that’s completed the dog will come home and be part of Lincoln County as a track dog,” Porter said. “Also, the dog will be trained in narcotics detection. We didn’t request that, but the agency said that they wanted the dog to be as useful as possible to the agency.”

The board approved Porter’s request to provide the monetary funds to care for the dog, as well as pay for the trip to get him. Porter said he will leave in three weeks.

In other board business:

• Lincoln County Litter Control Coordinator Ronnie Durr presented the board with information packets to pass out among their districts regarding the Great American Cleanup, starting April 7.

• The board approved Justice Court Clerk Sharon Lofton’s request to attend the Mississippi Justice Court’s spring conference on May 12-13 in Tunica.

• The board approved the documents needed for Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey to apply for storm damage funding from FEMA and MEMA. This will allow Galey to work with FEMA and MEMA to assess the damage in order to determine if enough damage was done for the county to receive monetary help.

• The board approved Sheriff Steve Rushing’s request to attend the Mississippi Sheriff’s Association summer conference on June 6-10 in Biloxi.