The Benton Police Department has had an established K-9 unit for some time.
The department currently has three K-9s, 2 cross-trained in patrol/narcotics and 1 trained in just narcotics. The department’s K-9 teams play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the police department. The support and resources they provide to the patrol operation is immeasurable. The teams have been credited with numerous drug seizures and searches for persons while aiding the Benton police and other state agencies.
We are proud of this unit and the professionalism with which they serve the citizens of Benton every day. Currently, the K-9 handlers (police officers) and their partners (the K-9's) are assigned to the patrol division and they assist with calls for service.
Honor is 18 months old and is a Belgian Malinois breed. He is assigned to Ofc. Larry Applegarth and they are currently assigned to the patrol division. Honor is a dual purpose K-9 and is trained in narcotic detection, and criminal apprehension and tracking.
Ofc. Applegarth and Honor have both completed their certifications at the Little Rock K-9 Academy. Honor is certified through the National Narcotic Dog Detector Association (NNDDA), which is a professional, nonprofit organization dedicated to the utilization and proficiency of scent detector dogs for the benefit of Law Enforcement
The cost for Honor was $8,000 which was paid for partly from drug seizure money and from Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Cassidy. This cost included all associated training and certifications for Honor and Ofc. Applegarth, and all future training that the two will attend over the course of Honor’s tenure at the department.
Now retired, Rudy served the citizens of Benton for approximately 8 years. While assigned to patrol Rudy was instrumental in the apprehension of numerous large narcotics seizures including a vehicle that is used for School resource functions.
Lucky has been serving since January, 2009. He is handled by Sgt. Bigelow. He is trained in patrol functions as well as narcotics detection.
Benton has been serving since March 2009. He is handled by Ofc. Fowlkes. Benton is a 1 year old black labrador retriever. He is trained in narcotics detection. He was credited with seizing approximately $20,000 in drug money in June of 2009 and a vehicle for the Saline Co. Sheriff's Dept. in July of the same year.
Benton's name was chosen by holding a contest among local 3rd graders. They submitted a name and an essay explaining why the name should be chosen. Student Autumn Myers, 9, a student at Ringgold Element-ary School, named the narcotic detection dog after the city she loves — Benton.