MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong is proud to announce two new K-9s joined the Sheriff’s Office K9 unit last week, and the two new pups are settling in well with their K9 handlers.
K9 Veki is a German Shorthair Pointer and is partnered with Deputy Richard “Skip” Kindig. K9 Veki is 15 months old and was born in Hungary. Deputy Kindig and K9 Veki are assigned to the adult corrections facility. K9 Veki’s job is to keep contraband out of the corrections facility. K9 Veki succeeds K9 Luna, a German Shorthair Pointer who passed away in September 2020 after being diagnosed with cancer. Deputy Kindig has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office in adult corrections since 2009. Deputy Kindig became a K9 handler in 2017 when he was partnered with K9 Luna.
K9 Cliff is a German Shepherd and was born in the Czech Republic. K9 Cliff is 18 months old and is a dual purpose K9. K9 Cliff is assigned to the newest member of our K9 unit, Deputy Jole Payne. Deputy Payne started his career with the Sheriff’s Office in 2018 and graduated from Class 017 of the Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Academy.
Deputy Kindig and Deputy Payne returned to duty in late July after spending several weeks training with their K9 partners at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.