Bad guys beware; Minden Police Department's new K9 officer has a bite that's worse than his bark.
Harley, who was trained by Border Patrol and Protection, did not meet their exact specifications, but that may have worked out to Minden Police Department's benefit.
"They wanted him to be narcotics dog, but Harley likes to bite, so they didn't keep him," said Webster Parish Sheriff's Capt. Robert Hayden. "They didn't want to keep him for what they originally trained him for because they couldn't work him for what they need to do, because he will bite.
Hayden made an inquiry to Border Patrol and Protection, after hearing Minden Police Department was searching for a new addition to their force.
"I heard about Bo (Ofc. Danny Turner) losing Kash (K-9 officer)," Hayden said. "I asked them to donate Harley to Minden Police Department because MPD wants a dual purpose dog – one that can find drugs and bite. This will make a great fit."
Last week, Harley was put to the test as Turner handled him during certification.
"Today he found dope, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin," Hayden said. "He is a passive alert dog, which means when he finds drugs, he sits down and does not scratch.
"That comes from border patrol training, in case they need to check people at checkpoint, they don't want the dogs to scratch or bite them," he continued. "They train them to sit, but since Harley is known to bite, they couldn't use him."
Harley did pass his certification and now he and Turner have some challenges to face.
"It feels real good to have a dog back in my care," Turner said. "It is going to take time to get to know each other, but I think we are going to do good together."
Turner said there are differences between Harley and Kash that will require some adjustments.
"With narcotics, he is a little bit faster than I am and than Kash was, but I think I've got to get used to that," he said. "He has to get used to me, too, especially on patrol with bite work. That may take a while, but we have narcotics down. So patrol is really going to be an area we focus on."
Kash, who was nine, passed away this summer at the home he shared for nearly four years with Turner and his family.
He was donated to the Minden Police Department by Lackland Air Force Base in 2008 and is buried in front of the Minden Police Department with the other K-9 officers who served before him and passed away.