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Meet Tesa, the new weapon against drugs.

By Jennifer Sierra

Tesa from Silver Sun Studio on Vimeo.

Dayton, Kentucky has something very special. The Dayton, Kentucky police department has a canine officer named Tesa. Her partner is Officer Gil Marksberry. The dog is from Holland and is a Belgian Malinois. According to the American Kennel Club, “The dog is strong, agile, well muscled, alert, and full of life.” They are often mistaken for a German Shepherd but have a smaller frame. This breed may be small but make no mistake, it is a powerful force to be dealt with. In fact, the U.S. Secret Service uses Belgian Malinois to guard the grounds of the White House. The United States Navy SEALs used a Belgian Malinois named Karo in Operation Neptune Spear, in which Osama bin Laden was killed. On 18 November 2015, Diesel, a seven-year-old Malinois RAID assault dog employed by the French police, was killed in the line of duty in Paris, while searching for suspects involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks.

There are canine officers in Newport and Highland Heights so having Tesa in Dayton is another jewel in the crown of Northern Kentucky drug enforcement. She is trained to find drugs like cocaine, marijuana methamphetamine, heroin and their derivatives. In a recent training Tesa had she was 100% accurate in alerting to drug odors that were even masked by diesel fuel. Tesa is also trained to track and apprehend suspects. She has been used in Bellevue about a dozen times. Officer Marksberry and Tesa are on call when they are not  on duty. “I can be anywhere in Campbell County within 10 minutes from my house.”

The canine officer has been on the job since October and she has already located heroin and marijuana that had been wrapped up in a shirt in the trunk of a car that was pulled over on Route 8. In a recent drug bust in Bellevue, she assisted Bellevue police in finding marijuana in a car. Tesa caught the scent of it and according to Officer Marksberry, “she followed the odor to the car and climbed into the open window of the car.” She has also found meth in drug busts.

IMG_5392“The community has been very supportive,” Markeberry said. “I wanted to purchase a badge holder for her Tesa so I went to Irish Leather Works on the Avenue. They were so supportive and impressed with her they are donating a badge holder.”

There are a few supplies that the police department needs for Tesa but the expense falls on her partner, Gil Maksberry. They still need to get bite suits, bite sleeves, tugs and additional training so they are having a fundraiser to purchase this equipment. Gil and his wife are partnering with Buona Vita on in Dayton, Kentucky on March 20th from 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM, where 20% of food sales will be donated to the cause by Buona Vita. If you want to meet Tesa, she and Officer Marksberry will be at Buona Vita from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

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