Two new K-9 officers have made their debuts at local law enforcement agencies, with Texas A&M University police getting a new explosives detection K-9, and Washington County Constable Greg Rolling getting his first narcotics dog.
Mays, a German wirehaired pointer, put his scruffy snout to the test last weekend at the Texas A&M-Alabama football game. Alongside UPD veteran K-9s Jackie and Tyson, both Belgian Malinois, Mays made his rounds through Kyle Field on Saturday. Though Mays has been employed since late September, the football game was his first opportunity to exercise his talents on such a massive scale. His handler, Officer Cody Clemens, noted that in addition to Jackie and Tyson, Mays worked in tandem with dogs provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Mays will work to keep not only football fans safe, but also students and faculty at a variety of large events.
Mays, who is just under 2 years old, was acquired from Pacesetter K-9 Training Facility in Liberty Hill, and his assignment was supported by the local nonprofit K9s4COPs in cooperation with grants from students at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School.
Mays replaces his predecessor, a Belgian Malinois also named Mays who was acquired through similar means earlier this year. The first Mays, Clemens said, was talented at detection but did not quite fit what UPD was looking for and was rehomed to a new owner.
This newly assigned Mays stands out among the crowd, Clemens said. As a bird dog breed, he doesn’t look or act like his typical Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd counterparts.
“Mays being a bird dog plays into him wanting to hunt for bombs,” Clemens said. “He wants to go, go, go, and search, search, search.”
Although Mays wears a “do not pet” vest while working, he still managed to turn the heads of dog-loving fans at Saturday’s game.
“He loves people,” Clemens commented. “He is a love sponge.”
The UPD Twitter account shared video footage of Mays just outside of Kyle Field, chewing on a squeaky toy shaped like the Alabama football team’s elephant mascot. The tweet received more than 300 “likes” and was shared dozens of times.
“People love seeing dogs, and I like to brag about my day,” Clemens commented. “I’ve got the best job in law enforcement.”
About 45 miles south of Kyle Field, another police pooch has made his entrance into the crime-fighting world. Aspen, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever, came to Washington County Precinct 4 Constable Greg Rolling from RuDawg K-9 Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in late August. The Dallas company Aspen Midstream gave the dog to Rolling’s precinct free of charge after several months of planning.
While Rolling must split some of the cost of Aspen’s care between his own pocket and the county budget, he said his new K-9 partner brings a welcome change to local law enforcement, as the only other working narcotics detection dog available in Washington County is employed with Brenham Police Department. Now, law enforcement in Washington County will have an additional investigative resource.
Aspen has spent the past two months becoming acquainted with his new home and jurisdiction, regularly training with Rolling. On Tuesday, he hopped into Rolling’s patrol vehicle for his first day on the job.
“It takes a little time to get to know the dogs, and then your dog will get to know you,” Rolling said. “You have to train him before you put him on the road. But he is excellent at his job.”
Aspen, who is affectionate and friendly, will be suitable to bring to local schools and public events.
“It’s hard not to like him,” Rolling said. “He has that wonderful personality, and is so outgoing.”