Taking a bite out of crime

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By Scotty McDaniel

Perps beware.

The newest member of the Shelbyville Police Department is highly trained. If there are illegal drugs hidden in his surroundings, he'll probably find them.

Then he'll sit.

Borys, the German Shepherd, hails from Germany and brings a top-notch sniffer to the police department.

His handler, officer Jeff McClellan, said after Borys' crated 14 hour flight from Germany to the states, he arrived understandably stressed on Feb. 5. But it wasn't long before a bond grew between the two, he said. Which is good, Chief of Police Robert Schutte said, because McClellan made a big commitment by welcoming the police K-9 into his home.

"The dog lives with him," Schutte said. "It's a 7 days a week, 24 hours a day thing, and it's a major commitment for somebody to take this task on."

But in his 15 years in law enforcement, McClellan said he has always had an interest in K-9 units. When the opportunity came to put his name in the hat for Borys, he said he talked the decision over with his wife and she supported him. Together, he said, they decided it was a commitment they could handle.

Now McClellan said he feels like he has added another member to his family.

"He's a great dog," McClellan said. "He does good with my wife and my daughter."

A few weeks after his arrival in the states, McClellan said Borys took part in a three-week specialty training course where he excelled at searching and locating narcotic scents and became certified through the North American Police Working Dog Association.

To improve and maintain his drug-sniffing abilities, McClellan said he continues to train Borys here in Shelbyville.

"I do his training as realistic as I can," he said. "I'd like to do it every couple of days."

Chief Schutte said when it comes to training, Borys is like any other member of the police force.

"Training is ongoing. Just like us. We have training that we're required to go to every year. His training is ongoing as well," he said.

Schutte said that Borys, a K-9 insert for the police car and all other equipment needed for the dog were purchased with forfeited money from previous investigations.

He said Borys will be involved in search warrants and traffic stops, as well as demonstrations around the community.

Though he has only been in the country for around a month, McClellan said Borys' real word experience has been further delayed due to bad weather. Now that the weather is improving, he said Borys can get busy.

"He's ready to work," McClellan said. "And we're working towards being as proactive in the community as we can."