By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – The sheriff department’s newest deputy, a 21-month old Belgian Malinois named Yoda is officially on the job after he was donated to the county in Monday’s Board of Supervisor meeting.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys told supervisors that funds were raised by a non-profit organization to purchase the police dog and related equipment at a value of $15,700 – $10,500 to purchase Yoda and $5,200 to purchase the kennel installed in his handler’s patrol car.
“None of this has cost the county taxpayers,” Humphreys explained before supervisors voted unanimously to accept the donation. The sheriff also thanked board members for the non-profit organization that handled the fundraisers including Tonya Eubanks, Libby Kuchta, Charles Yow and David Howell.
Humphreys said the dog was purchased from Little Rock K-9 Academy, a worldwide producer of police patrol and narcotic detector dogs. Yoda is trained for narcotics detection, tracking and criminal apprehension. He is assigned to deputy Taylor Byford and the pair completed two weeks of training together in Little Rock last week.
“I am sure he will be a tremendous asset with the drug problems we have,” Board President Cayce Washington said before the vote to accept the donation.