Hopkins County Sheriff’s Deputies Colt Patterson and Jason Lavender returned home last week from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where they attained specialized training with their police canines.
The officers and canines Chiv and Mali completed a two-week, 150-hour Advanced K-9 handler course with emphasis on narcotics as well as suspect tracking on various terrain, building clearing, suspect apprehension and integrating a K-9 into most aspects of the sheriff’s department patrol division, according to HCSO Chief Deputy Tanner Crump.
Both have had previous handlers at HCSO. Mali was trained previously in one discipline but now is skilled in all three disciplines. Patterson brings 8 years and 2 months experiences as a peace officer to the job. Lavender has 8 years and 5 months law enforcement experience, according to HCSO.