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Camden adds K-9 officer to ranks
WOODBINE -- It doesn't take much to motivate the newest member of the Camden County Sheriff's Office.

All he wants is to chomp on his chew toy and get a pat on his head from time to time.

But Dasko is considered an important member of the law enforcement agency, and his work puts him in harm's way whenever he is on duty.

Dasko, a Belgian Malinois, joined the force last week after his handler, Sgt. Kevin Barber, went to Ohio to choose the highly trained dog from among three candidates.

Capt. William Terrell, a sheriff's spokesman, said Dasko was selected because of his ability to respond to Barber's commands.

In coming weeks, Dasko and Barber will establish a bond that will enable them to work as a team during drug investigations and to sniff out suspects in hiding.

He is one of three patrol dogs in the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office also has two bloodhounds and a bomb-sniffing dog.

Dasko is replacing Reno, a 10-year-old patrol dog who retired because of old age, after more than six years of service.

Dasko will accompany Barber whenever he is on duty, conducting searches around vehicles and helping deputies find drugs hidden in buildings.

The dog also will be used to flush out criminals suspected of hiding in buildings. He is trained to bite suspects and hold onto them until his handler gives a release command.

In return, he will get to chew on his favorite toy.

Terrell said the 3-year-old dog should be an important member of the sheriff's office through the end of the decade.

The Camden County Commission approved spending $11,500 to purchase Dasko.

"It seems like he will be a good member of the sheriff's office," Terrell said. "They really do work. It's not a cushy life they have."

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at or at 464-7655.

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