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The BPD's newest officer, K-9 Erros, meets his new bosses, Buckhannon City Council members at Thursday's council meeting.

City council takes a ‘paws’ to meet K-9 Officer Erros

BUCKHANNON – He’s fast-on-his-feet, friendly and sports a brindle-colored coat.

Where he differs vastly from his fellow police officers, however, is that the preferred snack of the Buckhannon Police Department’s newest addition isn’t exactly something that would normally please the human palate.

It’s true – this officer is fan of an age-old classic popular among canines everywhere: the Milkbone. (Raw hides are off limits, at least for now).

The Buckhannon Police Department’s newest officer is K-9 Officer Erros, a furry, four-legged 18-month-old Dutch Shepherd imported from The Netherlands. And on Thursday night, Erros met his bosses officially for the first time at Buckhannon City Council’s regular meeting.

BPD Sgt. William Courtney, Erros’s handler, brought the people-friendly pup in for an introduction and explained his specialties. Courtney said Erros is a dual-purpose K-9, meaning he’s training to not only detect drugs – methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin – but also has expertise in tracking, searches and apprehension.

Erros and Courtney hit the road together last week after completing an intensive six-week training at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, PA.

“He’s really fast – he’s a very active, high-energy dog,” Courtney said. “This breed is smart and courageous, so he’s going to do really well.”

Erros is all-business when he’s working, but when he’s off-duty, he’s a friendly guy who, as Courtney said, “doesn’t know a stranger.”

“He did really awesome in training,” Courtney told council. “It was a lot more involved than I thought it was going to be, but it turned out really well.”

K-9 Officer Erros and his handler, Sgt. William Courtney share a sweet moment during Thursday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting.

Mayor Robbie Skinner commended Courtney on displaying the initiative and leadership required to make K-9 Erros a part of the BPD’s force.

“This is something that Sgt. Courtney has wanted to do, has wanted to bring to our force, for some time,” Skinner said. “He met with many of us on council back last year to get our thoughts about it, and I’m proud of Sgt. Courtney for bringing this to us unsolicited and taking on the responsibility of being Erros’s caregiver.”

“And I think you can see there’s love and affection there, and it’s mutual,” Skinner said, motioning to Erros who had placed his paws on Courtney’s chest, appearing to give his handler a hug.

Courtney said the BPD has ordered a protective vest for the dog from the Blue Line K-9 Project. Other than that piece of equipment, Erros is ready to go, having received stellar training from Shallow Creek Kennels.

“The people up there really knew what they were talking about,” Courtney said. “All of the trainers up there were either prior military K-9 (canine) handlers or prior law enforcement K-9 handlers. It’s a well-renowned kennel all over the U.S., and that’s one reason why we picked them.”

While Erros is trained to respond primarily to voice commands, he also knows several hand signals, Courtney said.

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