Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall, former president of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, has added a third canine, Doc, to his K-9 Squad. Deputy Joshua Laprade and Doc, his canine, became the new team that joined Lt. Thomas Deem and his canine, Lucky; and Sgt. Kenneth Curry and Rex, his dog.
After training with Doc for several weeks, Laprade, a football player who Hall had coached at Covington High School prior to him becoming a deputy in 2018, joined the K-9 team in March. Laprade, revealed, “Doc and I did the same amount of training that Curry and Rex did before joining the K-9
Squad.” He added, “I started this year with Doc, and we were certified on March 3.”
Laprade and Doc started working with the other two teams on March 4. Concerning his three K-9 teams, Hall observed, “They have taken a lot of narcotics off the streets, found weapons and trailed missing people and fleeing subjects.”
Deem, a 1994 graduate of Greenbrier East High School, had served for five and a half years as a member of the City of Covington’s Police Department prior to joining the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Department in 2011. Deem partnered with Stitch, his first canine, for 12 years before Stitch was mercifully euphonized at 13 due to his deteriorating health. Deem revealed, “This particular dog (Lucky) came from Moyock, North Carolina and was trained by the Virginia State Police.”
Hall noted, “We have units to patrol with a dual purpose.” Curry, a 2005 graduate of Alleghany High School, pointed out, “The dual purpose dogs are for narcotics detection and for trailing, apprehension and article search.” Deem recalled, “While training in Chesapeake, Lucky found the barrel of a gun that turned out to be a murder weapon.” He added, “Two people are serving time in prison because of Lucky’s discovery.” Hall said, “They (the dogs) can search cars, school lockers, backpacks, and items containing narcotic substances.”
Curry remembered, “My dog came from Poland, and he was trained in North Carolina.” He continued, “Before I met him at the Highland K-9 in Harmony, North Carolina, he had two years of training.” “I got him in 2021 after online training for two weeks and in person training for four weeks at Highland K-9,” Curry added.
Rex is a three-year-old German Sheppard and Belgian Malinois mix, and Doc is a 15-month-old mix like Rex. Deem noted, “Lucky is a full-blooded Belgian Malinois.” Hall concluded, “Our K-9 program got started by a community donation by individuals and businesses.” In order to garner support for the K-9 units, Hall has established an online way for the public to donate by visiting the Alleghany County K9 Compassionate Fund. The previous use of drug-sniffing dogs in the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Department dates back to 1991, and a plaque that honors previous canines and their law enforcement partners is on display in the lobby of the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office and Regional Jail.