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K-9 Pharoah

'Pharoah' ready to work when needed for the next year

By Howard B. Owens

Sheriff's Office K-9 "Pharoah" is nearing the end of this career, and while he no longer works every day, he is available when needed and handler Brian Thompson hopes that's the case until October of 2014.

Pharoah's successor, Destro, and new handler Deputy Chris Erion, graduate from the K-9 Academy on Dec. 17.

The former Niagara County police dog was recently recertified, Thompson said, and that certification expires in October.

Thompson said it will be good for Destro to work with the older, more experienced dog once in awhile, and besides, Pharoah does like to work. It will drive him a little crazy just to sit at home.

"I'll have to work with him more in my off time," Thompson said. "Not letting him work would be like putting an ADD child in a room with one block and telling him to have fun."

Pharoah was put to work today when K-9s from the State Police and Livingston County were not available to help search for a burglary suspect on Batavia Bethany Townline Road.

A house was broken into and the homeowner returned to the burglary in progress and only heard the back door close as he entered the house.

Deputies were on scene quickly, but no suspect was spotted.

Thompson said he found only one possible suspect footprint and Pharoah didn't pick up a scent trail to follow. Thompson said it's probable that the burglary had a car nearby and was able to make a quick exit from the area.

"He's a good dog," Thompson said. "He's ready to work if he's needed. He would have found this guy if he was out there to find."

County Public Service Committee OKs new K-9 unit

By Bonnie Marrocco

The Sheriff’s Office has a new K-9 team to replace current police K-9, Pharoah, and his handler, Deputy Brian Thompson. The 11-year-old Czech German Shepherd is retiring and his handler is relinquishing his K-9 assignment after 13 years to return to road patrol.

Thompson has nothing but praise for Pharoah, whom he described as a great tracker, good with children and an excellent drug-detection dog.

“Pharoah is an awesome dog and you would never know that he’ll be 12 in the fall,” Thompson said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the County's Public Service Committee approved $13,346 for a new police K-9, training for a new K-9 handler and additional equipment and supplies. The funds come from money donated to the Genesee County K-9 Fund, as well as funds from Forfeiture of Crime Proceeds.

The K-9 team is used for search and suspect apprehension, locating missing persons including missing children and Alzheimer patients, contraband and drug searches, tactical tracking, evidence recovery, building searches, patrol, and public presentations. 

Pharoah began working with Thompson in November 2010 and was donated by Niagara Falls Police Department. He is certified in patrol, tracking, handler protection, narcotics detection, building searches and apprehension. Pharoah and Thompson will work until the dog and handler are trained and ready to take over.

“Training lasts for 15 weeks, from September to December,” Thompson said.

Pharoah's retirement will be spent with the Thompson family.

Deputy Thompson and Pharoah retiring, Sheriff announces fundraising campaign for new K-9

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Sheriff Gary T. Maha announces that K-9 Pharoah will be retiring at the end of 2013. K-9 Pharoah is 11 years of age and has been working with Deputy Brian Thompson since November 2010. Deputy Thompson will be relinquishing his K-9 duties at the end of the year as well. Deputy Thompson has been the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer for the past 13 years.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has been able to maintain a K-9 team for the past 13 years with support and donations from the public along with county funding. Public support and donations are vital to the continuation of this worthwhile program and are used to pay for food, veterinary services, training, equipment, and other K-9 related expenses.

The K-9 team is used for search and suspect apprehension, locating missing persons including missing children and Alzheimer patients, contraband and drug searches, tactical tracking, evidence recovery, building searches, patrol, and public presentations.

The Sheriff’s Office will be selecting a new K-9 officer and will be searching for a new K-9. The cost for a police dog ranges from between $5,000 - $8,000 and a 15-week K-9 training course costs approximately $5,000.

The Sheriff’s Office is initiating a public fundraiser for a sustainable K-9 fund for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. We need your support to continue with our K-9 program and are asking businesses, community organizations and individuals to make a tax-deductible donation to the “Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Fund”, 165 Park Road, Batavia, New York 14020.

Photo submitted by Sheriff's Office.

Photos: Thompsons demonstrate police K-9 work for Target patrons

By Howard B. Owens

Above, Deputy Brian Thompson, K-9 "Pharoah" and Brian's son, Ethan, at the Target Store in Batavia.

This afternoon, Thompson and Pharoah, assisted by Ethan, put on some working dog demonstrations for store patrons. Typically, Pharoah would search for drugs, but a couple of times, Thompson let Pharoah pursue Ethan down the aisle (see photos below).  

Ethan, who graduated from high school Saturday, is in his last week working for Target, and his last week working for The Batavian, so store management let Ethan spend part of his workday today helping his dad with the demonstrations. Ethan is heading off for a one-year Christian education program in the Adirondacks.

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