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Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit Visits Bristol Area Lions Club 02/13/2013

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brent Barter with Olga

The canine division of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was well represented at a recent meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, when two longtime deputies explained some of their work with the help of drug-and-patrol certified German Shepherd Olga.

Deputies Brent Barter and Kevin Dennison are certified canine handlers who have each worked with Olga over the last six years. Originally from Germany, the dog lives with Barter and his family and has trained and worked continually since the age of 11 months. She has over 45 certifications in both drug and patrol work and several trophies to prove it. At 7 years old, Olga has another year or two left of active duty.

Dennison currently is awaiting his next patrol dog, which will undergo rigorous training to become certified in all 50 states, like Olga. Trainers from the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) and Law Enforcement Dogs of Maine oversee many of the drills and education. Initial certification alone of a canine handler team takes 480 hours.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kevin Dennison demonstrate one of the many skills of patrol canine Olga.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kevin Dennison demonstrate one of the many skills of patrol canine Olga.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office also does cooperative training with similar canine units in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and elsewhere in Maine.

The canine team’s most frequent assignment is tracking missing individuals, and according to Deputy Barter it also the most gratifying aspect of his experience with Olga, who has won three “Find” awards for her scent work.

They frequently get calls to Knox and Kennebec Counties, neither of which has a canine unit in their sheriff’s departments. In addition to tracking Olga is also certified in drug detection, for which she won a national award in 2009, as well as in evidence recovery, building search and bite work. The latter was demonstrated when Deputy Dennison donned a protective bite cuff on his arm and Olga latched on until cued to release.

In the brief business meeting that followed, the Lions discussed marketing ideas for their recently renovated Willing Workers Hall.

Training Medals

Olga’s Training Trophies

The Bristol Area Lions Club will meet next on Monday, March 4, to host their annual “Speak Out,” a public speaking contest in which Lincoln Academy students compete for scholarship prizes. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, please call 677-6191.

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