Northampton welcomes canine deputy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

JACKSON – Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent is pleased to have a new four-legged officer.

After five months of not having a canine officer at all and six or seven months of having a sick one before that, Vincent said he was happy to have K-9 &uot;Blesk&uot; join the sheriff’s office.

&uot;He’ll work drugs, tracking and patrol,&uot; Vincent said. &uot;His main focus will be narcotics, but he will help us in a lot of areas.&uot;

Blesk has been assigned to Northampton County Deputy sheriff Joe Crisp, who is working with a canine for the first time, but insisted he was already enjoying the work, even though it meant a drastic change.

&uot;I went from working a shift to us being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,&uot; Crisp said. &uot;In the first two weeks we’ve been together, we’ve had two days off.&uot;

Blesk is a Russian shepherd who came to the United States in July. He began training at age12 months and spent three weeks training with Crisp.

Vincent said he began searching for a way to have a canine on board with the sheriff’s office and talked to Representative Michael Wray (D-Northampton) about the problem.

Wray worked with the Governor’s Crime Commission to help Northampton receive the approximate $8,000 in funding for the dog.

&uot;We appreciate Representative Wray working with us,&uot; Vincent said. &uot;This was a need we saw in the county.

&uot;We look for Blesk to be a great success,&uot; the sheriff added.