A new team member has joined the ranks of the Greenbrier Police Department. Maize, a well-trained yellow Labrador Retriever, was a gift from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in Little Rock. Maize is 3.5 years old and has three years experience sniffing out drugs and weapons and confiscating unlawfully-captured wild game. She wears her Arkansas law enforcement badge with honor.
"We’ve sent for her Greenbrier Police badge, but that will take a few months," Police Chief Gene Earnhart said.
AGFC contacted the city after closing their dog patrol division. Earnhart said he had experience many years ago with trained patrol dogs and knew they could be a valuable asset to a police unit. Maize’s reception at the department was enthusiastic.
Labs are known to be the most popular breed of assistance dog in Canada, the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, and many other countries. Their detection, guide dog, and working abilities with police and other official bodies are notorious. Maize and her new handler, Lieutenant James Guffey, will be working at the Greenbrier School District as friendly detection officers. Guffey is the Resource Officer in the Greenbrier School District and is delighted to have his companion help prevent weapons and drugs in the schools.
Although Maize started her training as a very young puppy and has already been on the streets working for three years, Lt. Guffey will have to go to handler school to be certified with Maize. That date and school have yet to be determined. Maize and Guffey will be inseparable until school starts. She rides in the police car with him in a carrier and lives with him and his family. She loves to chase and retrieve her ball and eats twice a day. Guffey carries a water bottle for her when they are on duty. She has already visited some of the kindergarten and first grades so the children can meet her.
Labrador Retrievers are considered to be a very good companion for people of all ages, especially since they are so even-tempered and tolerant of children. For hunting, tracking and detection work, they are known for their great sense of smell. They are exceptionally gentle, intelligent, and good-natured dogs and are considered to be a very good companion. They are not territorial or aggressive and are excellent retrievers. As a result, they instinctively enjoy holding objects and things in their mouth.
Labradors have been known to be able to carry an egg in their mouth without breaking it. They have also been known to retrieve a cell phone from beneath a car and can be trained to remove money and a credit card from an ATM machine to assist their owner. They are very people oriented and are happiest when surrounded by family. Labradors may bark protectively but they are not overly aggressive and do not make good guard dogs, since they are more likely to lick someone rather than hurt them. Scott Spainhour, Greenbrier School Superintendent, said, "She’s beautiful! We are really excited to have her."