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S.D. Highway Patrol to Retire Bomb Dog
PIERRE, S.D. - After a decade of sniffing out explosives with a nose-to-the-ground work ethic, Jet is retiring from the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Jet, an 11-year-old Belgian sheepdog, began his career with the Highway Patrol in 2003 as a police service dog trained to detect the odors of many different compounds that could be used to construct explosive devices.
Jet officially retired on Wednesday, March 6. Gov. Dennis Daugaard issued a proclamation marking the occasion, saying “It is important to honor veteran police service dogs who are faithful, loyal and devoted to their responsibilities and provide a valuable service to their South Dakota communities.’’
Lt. Scott Sheldon has been the dog’s handler for the past decade.
“The K-9 explosives detection unit is different from the K-9 narcotics unit,” Sheldon said. “We’re not like the dope dogs. We don’t want to find anything.”
Jet has been used to sweep through the State Capitol building and other facilities and locations, says Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the Highway Patrol.
“He is also able to detect recently fired weapons at venues such as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,’’ Price said. “He has been a great partner to Lieutenant Sheldon and has helped with many seizures and the capture of criminals.”
Price said the explosive-detection duties will be assumed by Trooper Michael Dale and PSD Raica.
Based in Pierre and deployed throughout the state, Jet completed protective sweeps of the State Capitol during legislative sessions, Supreme Court hearings and other official functions. Sheldon and Jet also responded to bomb threats and provided dignitary protection functions including assignments for the U.S. Secret Service, police and sheriffs’ departments, schools and universities.
“Jet is a very social dog, but knows when it is time to work,’’ Sheldon said. “When he is off-duty, I give him his food and his kennel. He doesn’t need to worry about obedience training after work. Just like any other enforcement agent with the Patrol, Jet becomes more focused when he is on duty.”
Jet will be released from South Dakota service into the care of Sheldon and his family.
“I’ll have to keep him in his kennel for a while when I am putting on my uniform,’’ Sheldon said. “He knows when it is time to go to work, and now that he won’t get to go with me, he’ll be a little cranky.”
Message from Colonel Craig Price, Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol
Thank you for taking a moment and visiting the South Dakota Highway Patrol website. While you take a look at our webpage you will find that you have the opportunity to see what services are provided by the Highway Patrol and other agencies that make up the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. You will also find great deal of information on what the Highway Patrol does every day.
I am pleased to announce that the South Dakota Highway Patrol has launched the South Dakota Highway Patrol Facebook and Twitter pages. It is essential to use social media sites to provide more information to the public and make the South Dakota Highway Patrol more accessible. I feel this is one more step for the South Dakota Highway Patrol to better serve its citizens.
The State of South Dakota is one of the greatest places in the world to live, work, and raise a family. I truly feel the men and women of the South Dakota Highway Patrol work every day to ensure South Dakota is one of the safest places to be. The South Dakota Highway Patrol continues to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies across state in developing partnerships that better serve the communities we live and work in.
As the South Dakota Highway Patrol approaches its 75th Anniversary of distinguished service to the citizens of South Dakota and all of those who visit our great state, I am very proud to lead such a dedicated group of men and women.
I welcome your comments and thank you for taking the time to visit the South Dakota Highway Patrol!