Mary E. Hinds News Herald
Loudon County Deputy Chris Jenkins and his K-9 partner Diego
were honored with two awards from the United States Police
Canine Association, Region 8, which encompasses all of East
Tennessee, for their outstanding work in the field.
Clinton Police Detective Robert Suarez, who is the local
president of United States Police Canine Association Region 8,
presented the deputy with the awards Tuesday evening at the
Loudon County Justice Center. Swarez said that in an unusual
circumstance, Jenkins was being recognized for two incidences of
excellent police work. "His peers nominated him for best patrol
deployment and for best detection. He's getting two awards,"
The first was in October of 2009 when the team was instrumental
in locating two individuals in connection with a home invasion
on Riverchase Drive in Lenoir City. George Patrick Locklear, 19,
was charged with resisting arrest/prevention of service and
aggravated burglary. The other arrest was of a juvenile. At that
time, Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said a frantic 911 call
came in at and the caller told authorities two men came into her
residence and they were dressed in black.
Guider said deputies arrived on the scene with K-9 units also
responding and the K-9 units caught the juvenile subject in some
nearby woods. Diego jumped into the lake and swam to the bank
on the other side of the cove. The K-9 then apprehended the
suspect, later identified as Locklear, who was then taken into
custody. Both subjects were charged with aggravated burglary and
both admitted to the crime, according to authorities.
Jenkins and Diego were also recognized for their work when the
Tennessee Highway Patrol called the sheriff's department for
assistance searching an out-of-state vehicle. Diego alerted on
the car where troopers found two pounds of crystal meth.
Suarez said the awards have special meaning because they were
decided by Jenkins' peers. "All the handlers get together and
hear about different deployments the dogs do," he said.
Suarez said the capture of the home invaders was especially
outstanding. "In spite of all the things they tried to do to
allude the dog, the dog was able to track and locate both
suspects." "The region is pretty proud of him (Jenkins)," Suarez
said. "Outstanding is the word and he and the dog deserve the