LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Members of the Lamar County Sheriff's Department and their K9 sidekicks scored big at a national competition.
Sgt. Jason McNelly and Sgt. Brian Patterson with K9s Carlo and Quatro brought home 3rd overall, 3rd in outdoor narcotics recovery, and 2nd place overall for department team during the United States Police Canine Association national competition.
"They excelled is what they did, there was individuals from all over the United States, this was a national championship and they represented us well," said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.
More than 40 teams from across the nation competed in the competition that was held last week in Jackson.
"They trained a lot, they trained hard and the results showed how hard they worked," said Rigel.
The department has a total of five K9s, with at least one always being active during a shift rotation.
"These dogs are a vital part of our department; they have literally recovered millions of dollars in illegal narcotics that are in, or passing through our county," said Rigel.
Rigel added that the dogs do not just benefit his department, but surrounding agencies in the Pine Belt also call and request their assistance, just because they provide such a key role in law enforcement these days.
"The dogs are an extended life-line of the officers, and they are there to help, and essentially be another officer, they are their back-up so to speak," said Rigel.
"I couldn't be more proud of my guys, and the work they do for the department, these guys share a special bond with their K9s and it shows through the work they do," said Rigel.