GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A new deputy has joined the George County Sheriff's department to help sweep drugs and crime off the streets. Zizi is only two-years-old, but has the valuable skills and training to help do the job.
"She can smell four odors: marijuana, heroin, cocaine and meth," said Cpl. Shaun Jodon.
To show an example of ZiZi's keen sense of smell, her partner K-9 officer, Shaun Jodon hid a bag of marijuana in a truck, and less than a minute later ZiZi found it
"Here is it in the bottom of the fender, which is also a pretty common hiding spot," said Jodon.
This is the 24-month-old K-9's first week on the job. For the past three weeks, she and Jodon have been taking part in some extensive training sessions in Texas.
"The dog is certified in narcotics, tracking, and biting," said Sheriff Dean Howell.
The sheriff said the K-9's training is already paying off in the county.
"We were trying to serve a warrant last night and the dog was called. We didn't know which way the suspect ran, he went in the woods and we didn't know where, and ZiZi was able to track him and show right where he went."
Howell said the sheriff's department purchased and trained ZiZi for around $11,500.
"With the help of the Board of Supervisors and seized funds, this K-9 is not costing George County anything because we bought it out of seized funds," said Howell.
Resident Darryl Hurt said he feels safer knowing ZiZi is part of the team to help protect his town.
"I think it is very good idea. We have a real drug problem and I think it will be a real asset to us," said Hurt.
Sheriff Howell couldn't agree more.
"We can't let up the fight against that, we have to keep going and wage a battle against drugs."
ZiZi is half Malinois and half German Shepherd. Along with her deputy duties, she will also participate in schools' drug free program.
If you would like to meet ZiZi, Sheriff Dean Howell is inviting folks to attend the Tractor Supply Pet Event May 30th from 11:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the Tractor Supply Store in Lucedale.