Every year the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department visits Tanglewood as part of their community outreach program. They call it National Night Out, and the idea is for us to get to know our neighbors and our local law enforcement team. To sweeten the deal, they bring gallons of ice cream and root beer. The event tonight drew many attendees, including children and some grandchildren. In fact, the program was delayed for a half hour while someone was sent out to get more ice cream after they ran out in the kitchen.
But eventually Patrol Captain Jim McGann was finished taking questions from us as we waited for the root beer floats and turned the mike over to Jody the Canine Handler and his gorgeous bloodhound Bud. Bud is almost six years old and has been with the Sheriff’s department since he was fourteen weeks old. He weighs 85 pounds and is very strong. He had about four months of intensive training, which continues for him and all the K-9s every week.
Bud is solely a tracker. He has followed suspects through woods, swamps, thunderstorms, and burning hot pavements. When he catches the miscreant he will stand up on his hind legs and lick him in the face. Bud also can track and find lost kids and seniors with impaired memories who have wandered away from home. Bud has a couple more good years to work, bloodhounds usually retire from the service around the age of eight. Then they go to live with their handler (who already has a Papillion and a Shih Tzu.)
The second part of tonight’s program was a brief overview of the Seniors Vs Crime Unit. This group investigates civil issues, and tries to recover money from senior citizens who have been scammed or had shoddy work done. Their top priority is educating us all so we don’t fall into one of the many scams going around. The watchword is Get It In Writing or Don’t Do It At All.
We thank the Sheriff’s Department for sending these officers, hopefully to keep us out of trouble.