HAMLET — Officer Greg Stone has an ever-evolving relationship with Edy the police K-9.
For a time, he played the fleeing suspect into whose (padded) arm Edy sank his teeth.
Now that Stone is training to be the Hamlet Police Department’s second K-9 officer and Edy, one of two dogs, Stone is Edy’s patrol partner, landlord and best buddy.
“The dog’s pretty much training me,” Stone said Thursday of the two weeks he has spent with Edy, getting used to each other and seeing how well Edy follows basic commands. “I’m learning how to use the dog.”
Stone, a Richmond County native, has been on the Hamlet force for more than two years. Edy has roughly two times the experience.
“The interest in (being a K-9 officer) is what drives me to take on the extra responsibility,” Stone said.
Stone grew up around German shepherds and feels at home with Edy, who lives in a heated kennel in Stone’s backyard. Edy spends the time when he isn’t working in the kennel, crunching across the leaf-strewn yard or waiting patiently on the front porch for someone to venture outside.
And, of course, he submits to training from Stone …
And from Stone’s 2-year-old daughter.
“She tells him to hush when he barks,” Stone said. Because Edy responds to “nay” rather than “no” or “Stop,” the child has begun substituting “nay” for “no” in her own vocabulary.
Stone’s daughter is toilet training, but Edy … Not so much. Stone still, erm, has to pick up after the dog.
Stone is not yet certified to handle Edy — that will come after Stone completes coursework. And Edy still needs to learn how to work with Stone when it comes to tracking and “biting” — detaining suspects.
K-9 handler/officer Britt Emert used to work with Edy but now has a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois named Rudy. When he first began working with Rudy, Emert estimated that in a busy month, a K-9 team would handle seven to 10 cases, including tracking and narcotics detection.
Patrol Capt. Marc Terry said he was glad Stone stepped in after another officer quit K-9 training to join the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, delaying efforts to mount a ready K-9 contingent.
“I think he’s wanted to do something more in his career, and he’s excited about doing it,” Terry said.
Even if it does mean scooping up a little poop.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]