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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Sheriff's Department commissions new best friend

  • When Phelps County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Johnson learned who his new squad companion was, he couldn't have been more pleased. His new ride-along partner is not even two years old. He has four legs and lounges in the back seat with a bowl of water and treats next to him.
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  • When Phelps County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Johnson learned who his new squad companion was, he couldn't have been more pleased. His new ride-along partner is not even two years old. He has four legs and lounges in the back seat with a bowl of water and treats next to him.
    Meet Jet - the Sheriff's Department's newest commissioned K-9 crime fighter. The 20-month-old British Labrador officially joined the squad on Friday July 26.
    According to Sheriff Rick Lisenbe, Jet was brought on to do drug work. He is replacing Caesar who was the department's police dog for the past eight years.
    "I am very happy with Jet," said Lisenbe. "He is very good with people and good with kids. We have a new dog and a new handler to get this dog up and running."
    23-year-old Johnson has only been handling Jet for around a month. They first met in Cape Girardeau where Jet was being trained for obedience and drug work by a highly respected dog trainer.
    "The first week Jet and I just spent time together bonding," said Johnson. He and the trainer then did a week or so on sniffing out drugs." The trainer has a garage set-up with lots of hiding places for drugs. Also, the two worked together on tracking down dope on cars."
    Interestingly, Jet is bilingual. He follows commands from Johnson in German and English.
    "We do this so the 'bad guys' cannot tell the dog what to do. They cannot distract Jet from doing his job on a drug bust," said Johnson. "When he hears German he knows it is from me his master."
    Johnson who is a 2008 graduate of Rolla High School told the Daily News that he grew up with hunting dogs. If all goes as planned, the duo will be keeping the county safe for around eight years.
    "What has impressed me with Jet so far is his ability to do his job. While we have a lot of fun together, when it is time to work, he is all business."
    Both Lisenbe and Johnson are excited about bringing Jet into the schools this fall.
    "I hope that when kids see that work that he does as it relates to finding drugs, it will give kids the message to not mess around," said Johnson."I think its a message we need to hear more of in this community."
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