Addressing rumors

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, January 9, 2018

In December of last year, The Bell County Sheriff’s Office suffered a tragic loss. Their K9 unit, Kane, was struck by oncoming traffic during a routine stop and passed away on the way to the animal hospital.

It was a massive blow to Kane’s handler, Deputy James Taulbee, as well as the Sheriff’s Department as a whole. Any law enforcement office with a K9 unit would describe that the animal is more than just a dog, but family, a son or brother. Taulbee confirmed this with his own words.

“Most people only see him as a dog, but they don’t understand how much time is truly spent between a handler and his K9. Kane stayed by my side 24/7, so he wasn’t only a dog to me, but a part of my family. I didn’t call him my partner, I called him my son,” he said.

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During the Jan. 9 fiscal court meeting in Pineville, Judge-Executive Albey Brock personally addressed an agenda item concerning K9 Kane and the Sheriff Departments work in securing a new dog to fill in the position.

There were rumors circulating that county money was being spent to pay for the service for Kane and other expenses such as finding a new K9 unit.

“A lot of folks out there think that costs the county money…none of that is true. Brooks-Durham Funeral Home was kind enough to do the service at no charge — they provided the urn. The sheriff made arrangements to have the dog cremated without cost to the county. We had $25,000 worth of insurance on the dog and they paid that in a lump sum…and has been no cost to the taxpayer in reference to that tragic accident with that dog nor will there be any additional cost to the taxpayer to replace the dog,” said Brock.

Brock then went on to state that another K9 has been located by the sheriff and there will be an officer sent out to train with the dog at the end of the month.

“Both Kane and Taulbee have served the Bell County Sheriff’s Office, the citizens of Bell County and other law enforcement agencies with distinction. Kane did his part as a K9 officer in a distinguished fashion, and he set a standard that we can forever strive to achieve or exceed each and every day from this day forward,” stated Sheriff Mitch Williams.