When it comes to partners in the Winchester Police Department, Officer Kelly Webster has the edge.
Webster is the department’s K-9 handler and works with a three-year-old black Lab named Crocket.
â€œI have my best friend with me around the clock,â€ said Webster of working with Crocket. â€œI couldn’t ask for a better job. He’s the best, best boy! “
Crocket was the second best dog in the Bluegrass K-9 Narcotics Trials held in Mount Sterling earlier this month.
“They have a lot of experienced coaches – fantastic coaches – and they train and advise you on how to get better,” said Webster of the four day event.
There is a competition on the last day.
“They did a number of articles this year,” said Webster. â€œSome items did not contain anything. Some items contained a certain type of drug with a fixed amount … Basically you get three minutes and however many finds you get, the better dog wins. “
Webster said she was delighted with Croquet’s performance.
“I am very proud of him. I’ll have him milked for at least a week, â€she said.
Webster is from Irvine and has been with Winchester PD for nearly five years. She said she noticed the department didn’t have a dog and told Chief Kevin Palmer that she would be interested in being the dog handler if they ever got one. A few years later she granted her wish.
â€œHe called me into his office and asked me if I was still interested. I said ‘yes’ and he was like ‘okay, put it together’, “said Webster.
Palmer said Webster was “the perfect candidate” to be a handler, but he had a requirement that the dog should be friendly and have good social skills.
Webster was given her new partner and made dozens of calls before she found Crocket in Greenup County.
â€œHe had so much energy and was so cute at the same time. He’s extremely focused when he’s working and kind of a total sucker the rest of the time. I have a really good relationship with him, â€she said about why she chose him.
Palmer said the connection between Crocket and his handler was obvious.
“He and Kelly are a great team and ambassadors for our police family,” he said.
Crocket is certified by the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association in obedience, basic tracking, item search, and narcotics. He is trained to recognize methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and ecstasy.