K-9 Unit   

   Eunice is fortunate to have a K-9 Unit in the police department. Officer Lane Prejean is the present administrator of the K-9 force and also a handler of the canines, with the help of Reserve Officer Billy Puzzuto. Officer Lane Prejean is also the handler and cares for the police dog Sam. He says that he is the only one that feeds Sam. The purpose he says is to form the bond between himself and Sam. They work and train together on a regular schedule.

     Eunice started the K-9 Unit in 1973 with 3 shepherds on patrol. The only use of the shepherds at that time was for the searches of people and articles. They were not used for narcotics. The shepherds were for the Eunice Police force but were also used in the Acadiana area including Ville Platte, Breaux Bridge and the surrounding area. In 1975, Eunice had four canines on the force. When their handler retired the shepherds were either retired also or they died.

    In 1988 Detective Eddie Thibodeaux took over the K-9 Unit and Eunice received another shepherd by the name of Jackie. She served on the force from 1988 - 1996 when she died. In 1996 Eunice received another K-9 shepherd by the name of Quido who served on the force from 1996 until her death in 2000.  Eunice received another shepherd "Sam" in 2001 which is now the star of the K-9 Unit and now serving on the force. 

     In 1998 after Detective Eddie Thibodeaux left the Eunice police dept. Sgt. Varden Guillory temporary took over the K-9 Unit until the position was given to Sgt. Ronald Papillion shortly after. Sgt. Papillion served on the K-9 Unit till his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in June of 2002. Officer Lane Prejean took over the K-9 Unit in June of 2002.
    The difference between Sam and the canines before them (excluding Jackie and Quido) is that Sam is used for everything, especially for narcotic searches, which he was trained for and specializes in. Jackie was also used for narcotics.

    Sam was born in Belgium and understands French but takes his orders in English. K-9's come from different countries and most of the time, it is with the language of that country that they are trained to understand. Jackie, the previous K-9 before Quido and Sam was from Germany and they gave orders in German to Jackie. Quido was born in the Netherlands and took his orders in Dutch. Sam was trained in America so that is why he takes his orders in English. A lot people think that the handlers are giving secret commands, but in reality it just a different language.

All About K-9's

   One of the most valuable tools ever enlisted in the law enforcement profession is the canine. Because of their superior senses, dogs are able to locate illegal narcotics, explosives, accelerants, and people who might have otherwise gone undetected by humans alone. With the proper training and temperament, these animals have also become wonderful public relations tools for police departments.
     Police dogs are extraordinary animals. A police K-9 must be intelligent, brave, loyal and dedicated. Future police dogs are selected with care. Prospective human K-9 officers are chosen from an elite group of experienced patrol officers. There are times, however, when a dog doesn't quite make the grade. Some of these dogs end up in civilian homes. Life with one is an Experience.
     The canine's ability may be demonstrated for any interested group. Children enjoy watching the police dog perform fascinating feats, and many see him as a hero that catches the bad guy.
    The canine's superior detection ability enables the canine handler to conduct thorough and complete searches with minimal time and personnel.
    A dog can always outrun a man ,and the fear of being bitten often works in favor of the pursuers. The canine is trained to pursue a fleeing subject. All canines are trained for recall when pursuing a subject. Should the subject stop and surrender, the dog is not allowed to bite and is recalled to heel.
    Patrol trained dogs are sometimes better than bloodhounds for criminal pursuit purposes, since they afford the handler a margin of protection. Their training includes specific instructions to prevent anyone from harming their handler. 

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