K9 Spotlight: Officer Wilkie & K9 Diamond
As told by Officer Wilkie
“I’m a certified reserve officer in the state of South Carolina. My K9’s name is Diamond, as in the ladies’ favorite gem. He is a French Beauceron, around 80 pounds and eight-and-a-half years old. He was shown as a puppy. My wife trained him and he is certified as a narcotics dog.
Diamond lives at home with me, my wife, and our two teenagers. Everyone in the house says he lacks about one chromosome one way or the other of being human. I have a take-home car because I’m the only one with a K9 in the department now. No one else wants to ride around in a doggie car!
When I start putting on black, a vest, a gun, Diamond starts hangin’ real close to mom— kinda like asking for permission to go out with me. When I get to the back door, I say, “We’re going to work!” He runs out the door and goes to the back and does his business. If I’ve got a few things to do before we go out, he’s usually already waiting by the car when I’m ready to go. He loves to go and he acts about like a 3-year-old. It’s like he’s a little kid.
One particular incident we had recently, I got a text message from one of the officers on duty. They were in the process of fixing to expedite a search warrant, and when they opened the door, they smelled the presence of narcotics. To keep from having to search the entire house, they requested the dog to try to pinpoint it. So we got on our gear and took off towards the house.
It was a four-room house: two bedrooms, one little offset bathroom, and a kitchen and den. There were five people and two small dogs that I knew of in the residence. The five people were on couches in the den and were holding the two dogs. I ran that room, and Diamond never paid them dogs any attention. I also ran the kitchen, which had three dog bowls set out on the floor.
First we went into the front bedroom, which was somewhat cluttered. Diamond got up on a recliner chair so he could sniff around the bed, and he gave me a behavior change. I called an alert and got an officer and told her to check between the bed and the recliner. So I left that room and went to search the other bedroom, and in the middle of the floor among some clutter was a TV tray—a breakfast-in-bed little short-legged TV tray. It had overrun ashtrays, a couple of empty soda cans, this that and the other. As I worked that room, I noticed when Diamond got to this table, he searched one side and the other, and I heard a growl! Well, I started taking a little up on the leash and I was in the frame of mind that if he did that again I would have to correct him. He worked it around there a little bit, and I heard that same growl. Then I saw a small, white, mixed Chihuahua-Maltese sticking his head out from under this TV tray. My dog did not let us know that there was another dog in that room, no sign, no nothing alerting us to the presence of that dog—well, we all just had a ball with that.
Well, I get back to the front room where the officer is searching this area between the chair and the bed, and she comes walking out with a small, white little food storage container with an open top, and she turned towards me with it and she said, “Your dog alerted to cat food.” I said, “No ma’ am; not possible.” She said, “That was what was in the box in the area you told me to search.” I said, “Search the rest of the box.” That was where we found an abundant amount of stuff that he is certified and trained to locate. Needless to say, we made a couple of charges in that house that night!”