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Conservation Police Officer K-9 Unit Visits KG Outdoor Club

Virginia law enforcement has within its ranks many K-9 units but the state has only four Conservation Police

Officer K-9 Units. One of those units, Senior Conservation Police Officer (CPO) Frank Spuchesi and

Comet, took time out of their busy schedule to visit with the King George Outdoor Club on Friday.

The twenty plus members of the King George Outdoor Club were able to meet and greet Comet and her

handler, Senior CPO Spuchesi. Before they actually saw Comet on April 22, Spuchesi gave a little

background on his job as a CPO, formerly known as a game warden. He discussed how he enforces game

and fish laws to protect our resources for all to enjoy safely. Many of the King George Outdoor Club

members enjoy fishing and about half of the audience has tried and enjoys hunting. The students

listened attentively as they were told what a CPO does. Most of the students had never seen Comet

before so Spuchesi explained how Comet became a K-9.

Spuchesi estimates that Comet is approximately 5 years old. Comet came from a pound so

they are not sure. The crowd was also a bit surprised to find out that Comet is a mixed breed dog. Some

found this surprising as most think of a K-9 as a mean and tough German Shepard. What Officer

Spuchesi said that he looked for in a K-9 was drive. He looked, in particular, for a dog that played really

hard and was enthusiastic. Comet displayed these attributes when he saw her in the pound.

Comet is trained to do article searches, track and to detect game. This means that, upon command,

Comet will search for things like shotgun shells, firearms, blood, game animals or find a track of a

trespasser. Officer Spuchesi asked the audience how they thought that Comet tracked people. Some of

the students responded that she followed the smell of the person’s shoes or clothes. It was a great

guess, but it turns out that Comet and other K-9s follow the scent of skin cells that people have

sloughing off of them constantly. Officer Spuchesi explained how if we could see the skin cells it would

look like a cloud coming off of us and drifting downwind of us as we moved around.

“These thousands of cells are what Comet can smell to track people,” he explained.

He went on to tell the kids how the wind will push the cells downwind before they hit the ground. For

that reason, Comet may not be on the exact trail that the person walked or ran on but she will be close.

And, because it can take time for the cells to settle, it is actually a little better or easier on Comet to

follow a track that is more than a few minutes old. Officer Spuchesi told of a time that Comet actually

tracked someone on a trail that was over a day old.

Comet has made some big cases in the state and has found many, many trespassers. She has also

located firearms and game that may not have been found by humans. For this reason, many violators of

the law will confess their crimes once they see that Comet is going to bust their story wide open.

After the students asked some questions, Officer Spuchesi went and got Comet and let the kids come up

a few at a time to pet her and play with her. The students were all able to see her official badge and see

how friendly she can be. Comet lives to work though and enjoys showing what she can do.

Next, the group of students followed Officer Spuchesi outside. He asked a student to go hide an item in

the grass. The student tucked the item under some grass while Officer Spuchesi explained how Comet

loves to play and she works for a toy and time to play with that toy. Comet was all ears and attentive

when she saw the collars and leads come out. Once the student came back from hiding the item, her

work collar went on and she was given the command to search. The search took a whopping one minute

and eight seconds for her to accomplish. She was impressive. Once she found the item she stood there

for a few seconds and then sat down awaiting her handler’s next order. She wanted her reward and got

to play tug of war with Officer Spuchesi for a few minutes. Mission accomplished!

The demonstration was impressive and the professionalism that Officer Spuchesi displayed, showed the

students what life as a CPO and K-9 officer might be like if they should choose to consider that career. It

is nice to know that our region has a K-9 officer to help protect our game and fish resources and help

track down violators. The King George Outdoor Club thanks Senior CPO Spuchesi and Comet for stopping

by the school to educate us about CPOs and K-9 officers.

Mark Fike

King George Sheriff's Office Arrests

April 10:
Kimberly Dawn Johnson, 37, of King George was charged with assault and battery and violation of a protective order.

April 11:
Christine Nichole Vanallen, 33, of King George was charged with driving under the influence and abuse or neglect of children.
David Michael Ferris, 49, of King George was charged with assault and battery and violation of a protective order.

April 13:
Walter Edward Mcdowney, Jr., 40, of King George was charged with violation of a condition of release and contempt of court.
Timothy Wayne Johnson, 27, of Colonial Beach was charged with assault and battery and destruction of property.
Cedric B. Thorne, 25, of Hustle was charged with failure to comply with support obligations and contempt of court.

April 14:
Michael Thomas Comway, III, 28, of King George was charged with contempt of court.
Wayne Edward Brengle, 44, of Waldorf, MD was charged with conspiring to commit trespassing, conspiring to commit a felony, destruction of property, larceny and possession of burglary tools.
Darius Gerald Graham, 20, of Fredericksburg was charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, grand larceny, stealing property with intend to sell and conspiring to commit trespassing.

April 16:
Michelle Inette Newman, 52, of Colonial Beach was charged with contempt of court.
Shelia Anne Strother, 60, of King George was charged with revocation of suspended sentence.

April 17:
Justin Charles Colley, 33, of King George was charged with contempt of court.
Charles Christopher Slater, 37, of King George was charged with assault and battery.

April 18:
Torrey Nicole Littleton, 22, of King George was charged with possession of controlled substances, two counts.
Michael Robert Rafter, 21, of Youngs, PA, was charged with contempt of court.
John Wayne Allen, 36, of King George was charged with revocation of suspended sentence.

April 21:
Joseph Weathers, 38, of King George was charged with failure to appear.

April 22:
Anthony James Henry, Jr., 36, of Richmond was charged with reckless driving.
Tracy Lynn Stevens, 46, of King George was charged with violation of protective orders.

April 23:
Carmen Dolores Palermo, 65, of Colonial Beach was charged with driving under the influence.
Vincent Leon Dungee, 55, of King George was charged with petit larceny.

Richard Leggitt

KGES spies a wolf at school

A touring opera made its final stop at King George Elementary School Friday afternoon, marking the end of this year’s annual round of in-school performances aimed at promoting arts education for students in and around the Fredericksburg area.

Read more: KGES spies a wolf at school

Water, sewer rates proposed to increase by seven percent

Rise will fund salary increases to help keep competitive
The King George Service Authority is considering raising water and sewer consumption rates by seven percent for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. 

Read more: Water, sewer rates proposed to increase by seven percent

Nationally recognized STEM summer program coming to KGES June 6 to 10

King George Elementary School will again host Camp Invention this June.
It’s a nationally recognized STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] summer program coming to King George Elementary School 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 6 to 10.

Read more: Nationally recognized STEM summer program coming to KGES June 6 to 10

 

 

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