One of the newest members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t ask for much for a doggone job well done. Give her a pat on the head, or maybe a piece of rubber tubing to chew on, and she’ll be happy.
Say hello to Bensha. This energetic 13-month-old joined the Sheriff’s Office in December 2010. A German shepherd from Holland, Bensha is now a partner to Deputy Tim Bickerstaff, an eight-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Bickerstaff, 33, is assigned to the Department of Detention Services. He and Bensha will be watching – and sniffing – the Orient Road Jail and the Falkenburg Road Jail and other locales for the presence of drugs.
Bensha is going through weeks of training, learning commands from her handler, and honing her olfactory skills to detect marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other narcotics. When she is ready, Bensha will regularly roam to the cells and inmate pods of our jails, uncovering contraband.
Bensha is sure to be a rather nosy member of the Sheriff’s Office.