• 68°

Jemison Police Department loses drug dog

The Jemison Police Department lost a fellow comrade last week when "Clip" the drug dog died.

The Jemison Police Department lost a fellow comrade last week when “Clip” the drug dog died.

The Jemison Police Department lost a fellow comrade last week when “Clip” the drug dog died.

“He meant a lot to this entire department,” Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer said. “Everyone was accustomed to seeing him around.”

Clip was struck and killed by a car on Feb. 18 when he got out of his kennel at his handler’s home and ran toward a road.

The dog had been with JPD since 2007 after they acquired him from the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department.

“When we got him, he was 2 years old,” Fulmer said.

Fulmer said Clip’s handler, Sgt. Randy Morris Jr., had taken care of the dog since 2007.

“That is what makes it that much harder,” Fulmer said. “Sgt. Morris had been with Clip every day since he got him. He took care of him, fed him and let him stay at his home.”

Clip, a German shepherd, was used by JPD as a drug dog that would often assist on various drug calls the department received.

Morris said Clip was treated like a member of his family.

“We rode around together on calls for about 12 hours each day looking for criminal activity,” Morris said. “We had a very close bond.”

Morris said most people knew Clip to be a loveable and reliable dog.

“I never underestimated him,” Morris said. “If he found something, I trusted him. He was right on cue with everything. I sure relied on him and I know I might be biased, but I think he was probably one of the best dogs around.”

Although Fulmer said he did not have an exact number of cases Clip assisted with, he estimated the dog worked hundreds of cases during his time with the department.

“There was one instance where there was a known drug dealer several years ago, and we had an officer call up for assistance with the dog,” Fulmer said. “Clip ended up searching the car and found $76,000 worth of drugs hidden in a compartment in the car.”

Fulmer said typically a drug dog works between 8-10 years with a department before “retiring.”

“He was getting close to that mark, but he was really top notch,” Fulmer said. “Each year, he would go with Sgt. Morris and participate in the required K-9 training. If he didn’t win the competition, he would win one of the top spots. He was a great dog.”

Clip was also used to accompany officers to schools, Fulmer said.

“Whenever we would go to the schools, we would take Clip, and he loved that,” Fulmer said. “If you saw him, he was intimidating and he could look mean, but he was great with the kids.”

Fulmer said the department relied on Clip and knew with his training he would do what was asked of him.

“We never doubted his ability at all,” Fulmer said. “When we needed him, we knew we had a top-notch dog there to do what we needed him to do. We will miss him. Hopefully down the road we can find a dog to replace him, but it will be hard because there weren’t many dogs like him.”