Raleigh County K-9 team named best in the state 2021

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Smokey is more than 100 pounds, has plenty of wrinkles, and an award winning nose! He and his Handler, Sgt. Richard Talley, won the West Virginia Police Canine Association’s 2021 K-9 Team of the Year award. That means they beat out every Police K9 team in the state.

“They’re just awarding us for the hard work and trails we’ve run through this year and just recognizing the work he’s done for us this year,” Talley said.

The award was based off 2020 statistics. Smokey’s nose brought him this recognition, as he is in charge of tracking down people.

“We man trail. He tracks human odor. He doesn’t do anything else but track human odor. It can be anything from a missing child to an Alzheimer patient, to a person who broke into a home and committed a robbery or something,” Talley said.

Sgt. Talley and Smokey train together twice a month to keep their skills sharp and to keep Smokey certified. He is responsible for a lot of success at the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s very rewarding, Makes you feel like you’re really doing something to help others,” Talley said.

Talley has worked with Smokey since he was 4-months-old. Now he’s 4 and a half-years-old and he truly is man’s best friend and protector.

“Oh we’re pretty close. He lets me know when someone is coming up on the truck. Kind of like an alarm for me so no one sneaks up on me. We’re a good team, good close,” Talley said.

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