Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The SC State family welcomes SHEABA, a detective and the newest member of the University police department. Sheba, a 14-year-old Malinois, nationally certified through the City of Columbia police department, is a narcotics detection, narcotics certified, tracking certified, and patrol apprehension K9. Sheba can be compared to a bloodhound, says Michael Bartley, interim police chief of the SC State University police department. “But this dog is able to do more than one task,” continued Bartley.

As a patrol apprehension K9, Sheba can apprehend a robber. For example instead of sending an officer into a hostile environment, Sheba can appease the situation by getting a robber out of a surrounded building. As a tracking certified dog, Sheba is able to follow anyone’s scent to assist in making an arrest or to find a child who is lost.

Bartley is excited about Sheba and her versatility. “It’s an extra officer that we can utilize to be a deterrent to crime,” says Bartley. An old tool in law enforcement but new to the SC State campus, this K9 will be highly visible at the University. According to Bartley, Officer Leonard Paige, a member of the SC State University police department, will be Sheba’s dog handler and accompanies her at all times on the campus.

Bartley, who implemented the idea of having a K9 on campus after only three weeks in office as interim police chief, says that Sheba will prove her own worth. “I do want the general public as well as our student body to know that we have this tool on campus, so for those people who want to come on campus and be involved in narcotic activity, we do have that resource available to us without having to call an outside agency,” states Bartley.

Officially sworn in on April 16, Sheba will be seen on the SC State campus, helping to prove not only her worth, but the new motto of the SC State University police department which is “meeting the challenge to make a positive difference.”

For questions or more information on Sheba’s availability for demonstrations, contact the SC State University police department at (803) 536-7188.