Randolph County K9 Sheriff’s Office ‘Hacker’ Retires | News, Sports, Jobs
ELKINS — A member of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department was recognized and granted retirement at the regular meeting of the Randolph County Commission on Thursday at the James F. Cain Courthouse Annex.
After sustaining an injury in his first year on the job, RCSD’s K-9 dog “Pirate” was forced into retirement. The German Shepherd, originally from the Czech Republic, was honored at the meeting and the three commissioners present, Chairman Chris See, David Kesling and Cris Siler, unanimously approved his retirement from the department.
See read a letter the commission prepared in Hacker’s honor stating, “Dear Officer Hacker, on behalf of the Randolph County Commission, I want to congratulate you on the next step in your life, your retirement.” See said. “Your presence and exceptional service will be missed. Since you have been with us, the entire county has benefited from your exemplary work. May you enjoy the full benefits of your retirement and enjoy years of good health. Thank you for your service to the Randolph County community.
Deputy Tyler Knotts, who trained with Hacker and was K-9’s handler the whole time he was with RCSD, said he noticed some time ago that Hacker wasn’t wasn’t acting himself and was walking differently than he usually does. After a visit to the vet, the dog was taken to several specialists and was eventually diagnosed with a spinal injury.
“It’s been a tough few months and very scary times because we really didn’t know what was going on with him,” said Knotts. “The doctor took him for tests and confirmed that he had some sort of spinal problem. The good news is that he doesn’t need any surgery and will continue to live a great life.
Doctors told Knotts there was a substantial risk of serious injury if Hacker returned to work. It was therefore the doctors’ recommendation that he not return to full duty as a member of the sheriff’s department.
Instead of working now Hacker will be “eat table scraps and lie on the couch” as the deputy said, and the dog will become a full member of the Knotts family.
“He’s fine now and it’s not going to affect his life,” said Knotts. “He is expected to have a good healthy life.”
Knotts said that while on duty, Hacker was able to locate several pounds of illegal narcotics, including methamphetamine, marijuana and other drugs.
Although Hacker’s career was short, it was very successful, according to Knotts.
“We have worked with several different agencies and his services have been requested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, US Marshall’s Service and county police across the state. The work these dogs do and the impact they have in the county is outstanding.
Knotts said Hacker’s work during drug seizures also led to more than $30,000 in cash seizures. He added that the K-9 had well over a dozen apprehensions per attendance.
“Some of the people we dealt with were known to fight with law enforcement in previous encounters,” said Knotts. “These people had no problem fighting three or four of us (law enforcement), but when they saw Hacker get out of the vehicle, they didn’t want any part of him released. “
Knotts is currently training with Hacker’s replacement “Twix” who is a Belgian Malinois from Germany.