News-Herald Staff Writer

CADIZ – A four-legged Harrison County Sheriff’s deputy took honors as top dog during a recent training event.

Boris, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, received the Top Dog award along with his handler, Deputy Jake Dunlap during a narcotics seminar last month in Columbus. The local team joined eight others from around the state at a session hosted by Storm Dog Tactical, the facility that provides the police dogs, and gained the most votes for their performance.

“We did focus training, worked on distractions with live animals, deterrents, live gunfire, tracking, area searches, narcotics and bulk [drug] training,” said Dunlap. “We did hands-on, real-life scenarios.”

The units also participated in traffic stops along the interstate to train for real situations. Dunlap said he attends training sessions several times a year but regularly exercises Boris to keep prepared. “Every day I do something. I hide drugs and we do apprehension work or regular obedience. We attend evaluations once a month to make sure everything’s going right.” He tested Boris by hiding crack cocaine in a vehicle on the grounds. Within minutes, the deputy dog alerted to a scent in a passenger’s side door.

Dunlap has worked in the K-9 unit for 13 years and Boris is his fifth partner, having been commissioned in 2008. Sheriff Joe Myers said the K-9 Unit has been beneficial in handling narcotics cases, particularly with traffic stops. “I’m glad Jake and Boris got first place,” Myers said. “There were different dog handlers from various offices and departments around the state.”

Pictured is Boris during a practice exercise as he detects the scent of drugs hidden inside a vehicle. NH Photo/AMY GAREIS