K-9 Murray joins Routt County Sheriff’s Office | SteamboatToday.com

K-9 Murray joins Routt County Sheriff’s Office

With a new canine named Murray, the Routt County Sheriff's Office has doubled downed on its efforts to fight illegal drug activity.

Murray joins the Sheriff's Office two years after the agency received its first drug dog, Boomer.

Private donations allowed the Sheriff's Office to get Murray.

Both dogs are Belgian malinois.

Boomer's handler, deputy Ed Hendricks, said Boomer has been used 92 times, with more than two thirds of the deployments being drug related. Six people are expected to go to prison because of drugs Boomer uncovered. A Craig man was recently sentenced to nine years in prison after Boomer uncovered drugs in his car on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Murray will be taken care of by deputy Jake Doolin.

"I was always interested in K-9 police work," Doolin said. "First off, you get to take a dog to work."

Doolin and Murray recently returned from six weeks of training at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, but training will be ongoing.

"The development of the dog is just amazing," Doolin said.

Doolin hopes Murray will be useful in combatting the area's drug problem.

"We know we've got a terrible drug problem," Doolin said. "It's not going away."

As of Thursday, Murray had already been deployed four times.

Murray alerted to the smell of drugs two times, but no drugs were found. Doolin said it was possible Murray had smelled drugs that had been removed from the car. It was also possible that the people driving the cars had residual drug odor.

This week, Murray will attend the citizens police academy at the Steamboat Springs Police Department.

"He's pretty social," Doolin said. "He has a really calm demeanor."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland