DPSCS K-9 Unit Announces Handlers of the Year
Handlers from Baltimore area, Eastern Shore honored

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TOWSON, MD (January 9, 2012) – Maryland’s correctional K-9 Unit chose Sgt. T. Butler-Scott and Sgt. Dominik Becker as its Handlers of the Year. The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ (DPSCS) K-9 Unit is headquartered in Hagerstown, MD, but its handlers work in facilities across the state.

The DPSCS K-9 Unit’s Lieutenant L. Foppiano nominated both handlers.

Butler-Scott, who works in the Baltimore and Jessup areas, made record-setting drug and contraband finds in fiscal year 2011. She also trained and certified a new detector dog, Jada, who is a product of the Department’s own breeding program.

Butler-Scott now also works with one of the Department’s three cell phone detector dogs, seeking out cell phones, which are considered contraband in prison. She “exhibits such aggressiveness and reliability in detecting and finding drugs and contraband that she has won the admiration and appreciation of institutional administrators and supervisors,” said Foppiano.

Sgt. Becker, who is based at Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County, the state’s largest prison, works with a patrol dog known as Ace. Patrol dogs and their handlers respond when officers need assistance in quieting and suppressing potentially dangerous situations. Becker worked with Ace until they became one of the highest-ranking patrol dog teams at the yearly certification.

Becker also trained a Bloodhound for use on the Eastern Shore, where Becker is stationed. Foppiano nominated Becker for his “devotion to the K-9 Unit, his courage in the face of aggression and hostility, and his sacrificial commitment to professionalism and excellence.”