Officer Bond takes a bite out of crime

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The Tucumcari Police Department has a new officer.

His name is Bond.

There is an irrepressible urge to follow that with the appropriate British accent and say: “The name’s Bond, James Bond.”

And his partner sometimes jokes that he wants to change the numbers on his cruiser to 007.

But Bond is one of those guys, who like Prince or Cher, that only has one name.

Bond is the department’s new canine, a drug dog.

Bond’s partner is officer Darrick Shaw.

“He’s got five different certifications,” said Shaw, who’s been working with Bond since April. He’s certified for the locations of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
Crimestoppers of Tucumcari raised $6,000 to get the dog and provide training for Shaw and Bond, said Dennis

Townsend, a former sheriff and member of Crimestoppers.
Currently, Bond is riding in Shaw’s cruiser. But Shaw said he hopes Bond will be able to earn his keep and to help buy them both an SUV, so that there’s more room for equipment and them.

In his short time on the force, he’s helped in the cash seizures of $30,000 related to illegal drugs, Shaw said. If the courts agree, that money will be turned over to the department and used for the vehicle, he said.

Bond is currently 78 pounds and will probably fill out a little more before he’s full grown, and some extra space would help, Shaw said.

Because Bond’s called a drug dog, Shaw said, he’s often asked if the dog is on drugs. So, then he explains that the dog is trained for an aggressive alert, to scratch furiously, if he smells drugs. And Shaw said the contact between the two is limited to when they work together to find illegal substances.

The reward and what keeps Bond sniffing out illegal drugs, is a friendly but rugged game of tug-a-war with Shaw. “The dog is very friendly natured. I don’t allow him to socialize much. That’s to keep him focused on the job and more dedicated to his handler.”

Shaw said, Bond is good-natured enough that he will be taken to schools to teach children about canine work dogs and drug prevention and also used to search lockers in schools for drugs, Shaw said.

Police Chief Larry Ham said the department used to have several work dogs, but they got older and had to be retired.
Meanwhile, Ham said Bond is another tool in the department’s arsenal that can be used, thanks to Crimestoppers, to fight illegal drugs.