by Lisa Tome
Randy Spencer knows Cecil County has a drug problem.
Spencer decided to fight back by providing the Cecil Sheriff's Office with a new K-9.
"In our community, the drugs are taking over. This is a way we can get it back. Get involved in the community and take it back," said Spencer.
He donated the dog to the Cecil County Sheriff's Office.
"I purchased and donated the dog. I think the county needs more dogs and for more people to get involved," said Spencer.
Spencer owned a business in the Elkton area. It was broken into multiple times. He blames the drug problem for the burglaries.
Steve Basht, Roscoe's trainer and owner of the Sassafras Canine Service Academy near Calvert, trained Roscoe, a male yellow lab. "It's about building a relationship between you and the dog," said Basht. "We start when a dog is eight weeks old. And that's what we focus on- the relationship."
Basht has been training dogs for about 30 years. He uses a toy as a reward, not treats. "Dogs want to serve and bond. We breed dogs that want to serve," said Basht.
Spencer and Basht were at the Cecil Sheriff's Office last week to meet with deputies and receive thanks. Roscoe came into the room with his handler, DFC Michael Thomas. The K-9 was visibly excited when he was reunited with Basht. He began licking the trainer and wagging not only his tail, but his entire body.
Roscoe and Thomas will begin the next phase of training, for drug dogs and handlers, in early November. Roscoe will be a drug detection dog.
"This dog is very impressive. The dog loves to work," said Sheriff Barry Janney.
"We haven't even scratched the surface of what dogs can do," said Basht.
DFC Michael Thomas said he has wanted to be a K-9 handler for several years. "I am super excited. He's awesome. We play all the time. He's non stop. If you don't stop him, he won't stop," said DFC Thomas.
Roscoe lives with Thomas and his family.