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Grand Coulee's bomb dog retiring


Grand Coulee Police Department’s “bomb” dog Potter is being retired.

Potter is handled by police officer Sean Cook, the second dog handled by him since he has been in the department.

The city council Tuesday night passed a resolution declaring the dog surplus after nearly nine years service here. Potter and Cook have answered calls all over the United States, even once going to provide cover at a PGA golf tournament at Pebble Beach, Calif.

Potter was present at the council meeting, and made the rounds greeting Mayor Chris Christopherson, City Clerk Carol Boyce and all the council members.

The retirement comes both because of Potter’s age and the fact that the Bureau of Reclamation is not going to fund a dog in the current ongoing negotiations with local law enforcement agencies.

The resolution retiring and surplusing Potter allows for her handler to keep her as a household pet. Officer Cook quickly agreed to keep Potter.

Asked if he would miss having Potter as part of his duties, Cook said, “Yes, wouldn’t you like to take your dog to work with you?”

Cook and Potter were recently called to the Grant County Airport where there was a reported bomb threat. Potter didn’t react positively to the site. Potter is the only bomb trained dog in Grant County. Cook said at the time that Potter is trained to respond to multiple compounds used in making explosive devices.

Cook got Potter nine years ago when the dog was just a year old. The two trained together at an ATF site in Front Royal, Va., for 12 weeks.

The light tan Labrador is hanging it up, so to speak, as of Sept. 1, to become a household pet.

Previously, Cook had Wiley, a drug dog, that was in the department for a number of years.

Wiley was returned for continuing service as a drug dog.

Police Chief Mel Hunt said that nine or 10 years is the maximum term for a K-9 officer, regardless of the type of service it is in.

Cook houses Potter and trains the dog an hour each day.

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