By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
After a grueling two hundred and eighty hours of training a new officer has joined the Tucker County Sheriff squad. K-9 Deputy Gabor, an approximately year and a half old German Shepherd, has partnered up with Deputy Taylor Zirk to aid in the protection of the citizens in Tucker County.
Gabor was imported from Czechoslovakia territory to a kennel in Pennsylvania who specializes in training service dogs. The Tucker County Sheriff’s Department determined the attributes they desired from a K-9 officer and the kennel selected five candidates that filled those requests. Zirk along with a K-9 trainer from Preston County travelled to Pennsylvania to observe these animals in action and to allow Zirk the opportunity to work alongside them. It was extremely important to see which dog Zirk bonded with in order to set the team up for success. At the end of the day, Gabor chose Zirk to be his new handler. Zirk expressed that he had always wanted to work with a K-9 partner and is really excited about his and Gabor’s future together within the department. Gabor is trained for narcotic detection, search and rescue, and apprehension. Hopefully Gabor’s talents will result in reducing the number of drug related cases the county experiences.
Deputy Zirk and his new partner will be spending much of their time in their cruiser; therefore, it had to be revamped to accommodate Gabor. Their ride is now equipped with a cage that has temperature controls which automatically engage when necessary by turning on the air conditioner, rolling down the window, or even opening the door if necessary. It is imperative to ensure Gabor is comfortable in his environment for him to work at his fullest potential.
Gabor has already been contributing to the department by assisting with a few drug detections at various traffic stops. He wears his badge proudly and the Sheriff Department is working towards getting him a bullet proof vest for additional safety. Gabor will continue honing his skills and learning to work in his additional equipment once it is purchased. Sheriff Brian Wilfong stated, “The dog will be a great addition to fight the ever growing drug problem. Deputy Zirk has gone above and beyond with the training for himself and Gabor”.
If you see Gabor in public, please do not approach him as he has been trained and instructed not to interact with people. He is strictly a working member of the Sheriff Department and needs to maintain his entire focus on his handler and his job at hand. The Sheriff’s Department thanks you for your understanding and looks forward to putting Gabor to use in our area.