Harrison County K-9 Diablo corrals the criminal

Delbert Thomas Ervin, III is back in custody after walking off a work crew in Harrison County Thursday. (Source: Pat Sullivan)
Delbert Thomas Ervin, III is back in custody after walking off a work crew in Harrison County Thursday. (Source: Pat Sullivan)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Thursday's manhunt in north Harrison County became successful for the Sheriff's Department when one of the county's K-9 units captured the escaped inmate. Diablo was able to track the inmate from the site of his work detail, into the woods, and help bring him in.

"He showed his worth," said Capt. Matt Haley with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. "There were a few times where we got away from where we thought he was. In the end, we found the bad guy. I don't think a day goes by that they don't prove their worth as far as finding somebody in the woods, or we may have an open door to a business that's closed. Instead of sending in an officer, they send in the dog."

And, just like on Thursday, the dog usually gets his man to take a bite out of crime.

"There's 800 pounds of pressure on those teeth, I could imagine how it would feel," Haley said.

Capt. Haley says the selection process for these K-9's is very intense. In fact, he likened it to the military trying to put together a special forces unit.

"It would be like the Navy selecting a seal, not all dogs are cut out for it. They may test 100 dogs and three out of those 100 may qualify to do the job."

Haley also said K-9 handlers train nearly 200 hours for their job.

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