The Bishop Police have a new crimefighter – a canine.
On Monday afternoon, local residents and officers gathered for a demonstration of the dogs ability to sniff out hidden narcotics.
Police Chief Kathleen Sheehan gave a short presentation on how officers use dogs to not only find hidden narcotics, but also to catch suspects, protect officers, and find people in search and rescue situations. She also thanked the long list of community members who donated money to get a Police K-9 program started in Bishop.
The Bishop Police Department applied for and received a $38,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture which required some matching funds. With the City short of money, the community chipped in. Groups like the Coso Geothermal Plant, the Elks, the Indian Gaming Commission, and ski area founders Dave and Roma McCoy, along with many local people all chipped in to buy and train the K-9. The money also went to purchase a 4X4 vehicle to transport the new police dog.
On Monday, the dog and his handler Officer Brent Gillespie entered the gymnasium at city hall for a demonstration. Heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana had earlier been hidden in containers laid out on the floor and also in various spots around the room. In no time flat, the k-9 had sniffed out various narcotics, pawing at the location where the drugs were located.
The new police dog is one of the few police dogs in the area right now, but Officer Gillespie explained that the K-9 had already been used in close to ten successful searches where small amounts of narcotics were found.
Those who donated to the effort are Barbie McCoy, Bishop Police Officers Association, Dave and Roma McCoy, The Elks, Relaxing Furs, State Farm Insurance, A Justice Assistance Grant, Terragen-Coso Geothermal, Truhls, the Bishop Veterinary Hospital, CHP, Donald M. Slager Sunset Foundation, an Indian Gaming Grant, Manuel Bravo, Robert and Leeann Rasmuson, Stacey Barfield, Toby and Colleen Dickenson, and the USDA.