May 6, 2014
The Albemarle County Police Department has added a new K-9 member to its bomb squad.
Cleo is a 5-and-a-half-year-old black lab that was previously with the U.S. Marine Corp. She served two tours of duty as a bomb dog in Afghanistan.
After her service with the Marines, she and other military dogs were opened up for adoption to local law enforcement agencies. Cleo was given to Albemarle Co. Police free of charge, with only a $5 notary fee for the documentation.
Cleo and her handler, Officer Bill Saulle, have been training together to transition Cleo into her new role as a police bomb dog. The pair attended two weeks of training in Richmond and Cleo is now certified with the Virginia Police Work Dog Association and also with the Virginia State Police.
As a bomb dog, Cleo will be assisting in calls across the region. Officials say she will be working major events like Foxfield, dignitary visits and airport searches.
Cleo joins three other dogs in the Albemarle Co. Police K-9 Unit: Bink, a patrol dog trained to search vehicles and buildings for narcotics, and Lulu, a Bloodhound tracker who specializes in searches for missing people.