GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis Police Patrolman Mark Still and his canine partner Gina were recently recognized as the Canine Unit of the Year by the Ohio NARCO group, a non-profit law enforcement association for Ohio’s law enforcement community.
“Last month, we nominated him and Gina for the Canine Unit of the Year,” said Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer. “Last Wednesday, he went up and received the award for the 2018 Canine Unit of the Year. In the last year, from July 30 of 2017 to July 30 of 2018, he (and Gina) have assisted agencies with drug seizures, criminal apprehension, building searches and (tracking) with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Patrol.”
Gina was deployed 250 times during this period. Gina was credited with 20 felony narcotic case convictions and 49 misdemeanor case convictions. She and Still successfully tracked six suspects with non-bite apprehensions during the 2017 to the 2018 calendar year.
Still and Gina were also deployed to apprehend two fleeing suspects in the same time period. The first was a fleeing felon wanted for murder. The second was a suspect fleeing from a motor vehicle. The individual surrendered upon being pursued by the dog and she disengaged and detained the suspect until officers took him into custody, said Boyer.
“Not only that but Mark and Gina do a lot of work going to schools like to Rio Grande Elementary and Buckeye Hills, last week,” said Boyer. “He’s done a lot of stuff in the park and extra training that he’s not required to do. We just want to congratulate him and he does a good job for us.”
“I want to congratulate Mark also,” said City Manager Gene Greene. “He does an extremely good job. He has a young dog and is a young officer (comparatively) with the dog. He goes out on his personal time and does a lot of demonstrations. I’d like to have about 10 more officers just like him.”
Gallipolis City Commissioner Stephen Wallis said while past Gallipolis canine unit Virago was missed, they were happy to have Gina filling a much needed role for the community’s security.
NARCO representatives across the state reportedly voted on the award’s recipient, with Still and Gina coming out on top, according to the Tuesday commission meeting. Statistics were submitted with each unit from across Ohio for judges to review.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.