He’s the new top dog

Published 10:15 am Saturday, January 2, 2010

FRANKLIN—A Dutch shepherd named Jack is the Franklin Police Department’s newest tool to help keep drugs off the streets.

“He has been a long-term project that rose out of discussions between Jack Camp and myself over the course of the past two years,” said Police Chief Phil Hardison.

John M. “Jack” Camp Jr. said he got involved at the request of city officials.

“Both the chief and the city manager said that this was something we needed,” he said.

Jack the dog was born in Czechoslovakia and will be 2 years old this month. He is trained to sniff illegal drugs—specifically marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Local philanthropic organizations played a vital role in the department getting a K-9 unit, Hardison said.

“The Camp Foundation fully supported and funded the dog itself, the training and all of the equipment necessary to sustain him,” he said. “The Franklin-Southampton Charities provided monies necessary for the needed vehicle and equipment for that vehicle for the K-9.”

Franklin-Southampton Charities provided $35,000. Bobby Worrell, executive director of the Camp foundations, declined to say exactly how much money that organization provided.

Hardison said the police department was “grateful” for the partners in the community “that play such a significant role in our ability to continue to provide enhanced public safety services.”

“They have great concern, compassion for the welfare of this city, as we all do,” he said.

Both Jack and his handler, Officer David Greer, spent eight weeks living and training together in Richmond.

“David did a unique job and showed a unique commitment, in terms of his dedication and the drive that was necessary to complete this training,” Hardison said. “It requires 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week maintenance to take care of the dog both on and off duty.”