April 5, 2002
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
or 502-8262 pager
PCSO K-9 Deputy Wins First Place In Regional Competition
Sheriff's Office Deputy Herb Bennett and his K-9
Cezar set a new record by scoring 695 points out of a possible 700
points on their way to earning first place at the United States Police
Canine Association (USPCA) Region One K-9 Field Trials held this week in
A total of 66 competitors from Florida and Georgia participated in the
competition held April 2-4, 2002. During the competition, handlers
and their K-9 partners were tested in the areas of obedience, agility,
attack work (with and without gunfire), and search work.
A total of four Polk County Sheriff's Office handlers participated in the
Deputy Herb Bennett with K-9 Cezar, placed 1st (Region 1 record)
Deputy Matt Williams with K-9 Rocky, placed 15th
Deputy Tonya Bussiere with K-9 Maros, attained national certification
Deputy Christopher Hillsgrove with K-9 Berry, attained national
All four PCSO handlers qualified for the USPCA National Championships,
which will be held in Plant City in October of this year.
Deputy Bennett and Cezar will be recognized for their outstanding
achievement at an awards ceremony that is being held tonight at the Hyatt
in Sarasota. The overall team champion will be announced during the
banquet. The Sheriff's Office has a good chance to win the overall
team championship, but will have to wait for the results to be announced.
K-9 Units are trained to assist patrol deputies with searching buildings
for hidden suspects, tracking/apprehending fleeing assailants, conducting
building searches, searching for lost or missing persons, evidence
recovery, narcotic detection, explosive detection, tactical deployments,
crowd control and interdiction of illegal narcotics trafficking.