Baton Rouge, LA (NBC 33/Fox 44) The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office has a couple of new weapons in its crime fighting arsenal for 2020.
Brenda and Kyra are the newest officers in the APSO Narcotics Division. They’re also the first K-9 police officers in Ascension Parish in more than two decades and the fulfillment of a goal set by Sheriff Bobby Webre when he was still serving in an interim capacity.
“Sheriff Webre was running for Sheriff and at the time he had these big aspirations and one of those was bringing K-9’s back,” Public Information Officer Allison Hudson said Wednesday. “We hadn’t had K-9’s in 24 years. So everybody was excited, But it was very challenging because he wanted it in such a short time.”
The goal was to have the K-9 officers here by January of this year. But they managed to far exceed that goal. The two Belgian Malanois have been here for several months and already training to sniff out drugs while living and working with their human handlers.
“I grew up with dogs and I actually trained them on my own at some point, bred them,” said Brenda’s handler Detective Quinton Foster. “So to be in law enforcement and have a dog, to have that companionship, close to you, nearby when you need ’em, it’s a blessing”
It’s a blessing, a lot of work, and a big responsibility. According to Kyra’s handler Dexter LeBlanc, “You’ve gotta take em out, you gotta work ’em and get ’em adapted to your home life and your family.”
Both handlers say their K9 are learning the job quickly and fitting right in at home with their families. Foster says his wife and two young girls are very excited to have Brenda as part of the family. LeBlanc says his wife loves dogs and as for his son, “My little boy’s a year old. He just sees her jumping, playing around, so he loves it too.”
It seems everyone in Ascension Parish is pretty excited about the new four legged officers.
“We’ve had so many comments on Facebook, through social media, about the k-9’s,” says Lt. Colonel Donald Capello. “It’s like everybody loves the animals, everybody loves the doges, and they can’t get enough of them.
Brenda and Kyra will be training with their handlers through the month of January. They’re expected to get to work sniffing out drugs on the streets of Ascension Parish, in February.