LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The staff of the St. Mary’s County Government Office of Finance gave the six dogs of the Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit badges and treats on Tuesday.

Using their own money, members of the Finance Office annually make a holiday gift to the community and this year, Vicki Goss, Fiscal Specialist IV, came up with the idea to buy badges for the Sheriff’s Office’s K-9s. 

Sgt. Todd Fleenor, Canine Unit Supervisor, said the working dogs of the agency haven’t had badges in more than 14 years. “This is a remarkable experience. It’s awesome,” he told members of the Finance Office.

“It means so much to all of us,” Sgt. Fleenor said. “The K-9s are deputies just like us.”

“We’ll be the first ones in the Tri-County area” to have badges on police dogs, he said.

“It means so much to us to have this kind of recognition,” Capt. Steven Hall, Special Operations Commander, said.

Members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit are Sgt. Fleenor, who handles Largo; Cpl. William Rishel, who handles Skar and Filly; Cpl. Jason Graves, who handles Hakan and Jasmine; and DFC Lacey Smith, who handles Brix.

Sgt. Todd Fleenor and Largo

Cpl. Jason Graves and Hakan

Cpl. Jason Graves and Jasmine

Cpl. William Rishel and Filly

Cpl. William Rishel and Skar

DFC Lacey Smith and Brix