Clarkedale donates $10,000 to county for new dogs

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Clarkedale has given the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department $10,000 to buy two new dogs. Sheriff Mike Allen said the department has already ordered a bomb detecting dog and also hopes to get a search dog as well. “The dog we have now is a multi-purpose dog,” Allen said. “This will be for a search dog.” Allen said the dog will be useful in tracking down persons who go missing and in the event of a major natural disaster. “What we are looking at is if we have a major earthquake or something like that, we want to have a dog that can go through houses searching for cadavers or live victims,” Allen said. Allen said he followed the story of 2 year-old Noah Chamberlain who went missing on Jan. 14 while walking with his grandmother and sister in the woods near his home in Pinson, Tennessee. Hundreds of law enforcement officials spent hours searching for the toddler who was later found dead about 1.5 miles from where he went missing. “I can’t help but wonder if we had a similar situation over here and had a search dog if we could have found that child still alive,” Allen said. “And that’s what I want to have — the tools to facilitate finding a child in a timely manner.” Allen said they expect to have the dog, who is trained in Holland, in the next couple of months. This isn’t the first time Clarkedale has given the department money. Clarkedale also gave them the money to buy their current drug dog, who is a multi-purpose dog. Allen said they are also without a bomb dog. Their previous dog had some medical issues and had to be put down. A bomb sniffing dog is able to search a large area in a short period of time. “If we went into Walmart looking for an explosive device it would take us days to find something that looked out of the ordinary because that space is so big,” Allen said. “But those dogs are trained to smell explosives. They are very, very helpful. And it might take Memphis Police a while to get over here with a bomb dog if ever we needed it.” The dog was widely used, Allen said. “We used him when Bill Clinton was out at MidSouth Community College,” Allen said. “The Secret Service used him in Forest City. We have used him before a football game at ASU. We had a bomb threat at Wonder Junior High and we used that dog to clear the building so we could expedite getting the kids back to class.” The $10,000 will cover the cost of both dogs and the associated training. County Judge Woody Wheeless said Clarkedale is very good about supporting Crittenden County. Clarkedale gave the county $40,000 from its state turnback money for road work this year and last year. “Last year when we were doing a whole lot of road projects we went over our $650,000 budget,” Wheeless said. “We spent like $659,000. But the good part was they gave us $40,000 for roads so when you add that in we were really under-budget.” Wheeless said the county in turn uses that money to do road work in Clarkedale. “Since they don’t have the personnel and resources to do those things in their community, we go to Clarkedale and try to do resurfacing projects and use their money to go back in to the community,” Wheeless said. “And in turn, it helps us expand our repaving program by giving us those excess funds. So we are very grateful for all that they do for the county. They definitely support the county.”

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