Letter to the Editor

Search-rescue relies on trust

Monday, October 29, 2007

To the editor:I'd like to clarify that there are two separate search-and-rescue teams based in Scott County. One is the Scott County Search and Rescue K9 Unit associated with the Scott County Emergency Management Agency. The other is the Scott County Sheriff's Department K9 Tactical Search Team. It needs to be made clear that the accused in the alleged dogfighting ring was a member of the sheriff's tactical team and was in no way associated with the EMA's K9 unit.

That said, I would also like to say that I know both the tactical team's chief and training officer and have trained with them on numerous occasions. Both have served their country in the military. In all my dealings with them they both have never shown themselves to be anything less than trustworthy. They would be a welcome asset to any team.

In search and rescue, your reputation is crucial. Local agencies, other teams and the public need to know that they are working with competent and trustworthy people. It's a shame that the actions of one person, if he is guilty, could damage the reputation of others that continue to dedicate their lives in service to the public.

KEVIN SHARP, K9 Training Officer, Scott County Search and Rescue K0 Unit, Benton, Mo.