New K9 joins sheriff's office

By Staff reports | Jul 10, 2013
Deputy Randy Jenkins with new K9 Lenny.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office recently welcomed a new officer on patrol joining an elite rank that, until now, boasted only one member.

Lenny is a canine, and his arrival last week doubled the existing Sheriff’s Office K-9 presence. A German Shepherd that arrived in Haywood County by way of the Old Country, Lenny is continuing his training locally as a narcotics dog to assist in the detection and seizure of drugs being trafficked in our area. He joins Abel, a Belgian Malinois serving at the Sheriff’s Office since November 2008.

Sheriff Greg Christopher, who has taken a hard stance on the drug problem in Haywood County since taking office in March, says having an additional narcotics canine is another tool to help the Sheriff’s Office in its mission to eradicate the illegal drugs here at home.

“We understand that this is a problem that has to be dealt with on a daily basis,” Sheriff Christopher said. “It’s exciting for us to have another canine on-board to assist.”

Lenny and all his expenses are being paid for by the drug-traffickers themselves, Sheriff Christopher said. Of the more than $5,000 it cost to purchase Lenny, in addition to specially outfitting a patrol car and paying for upkeep, none of it was paid for by law-abiding taxpayers. All of it is coming from drug forfeiture and tax monies from apprehended drug dealers, the sheriff said.

Not even bringing aboard a K-9 handler will result in additional capital outlay.  Deputy Randy Jenkins is an existing patrol officer who is taking on added responsibilities as Lenny’s partner. Jenkins was chosen after an extensive testing process that included written exams, interviews and an oral board review, Christopher said.

Jenkins said he’s pleased to have been selected as for the position.

“Canines are an excellent tool for law enforcement and this one will be used to help change the face of the drug problem here in the county,” he said.

Lenny began accompanying Jenkins on patrol this week, becoming socialized and learning the ropes of daily police work. The team will serve on a regular patrol shift, as will Abel, who serves on a patrol shift with his handler, Deputy Doug Carver.