SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego County Sheriff's Department will soon have a new team member.
"Albert" is joining the pack of the San Diego Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team. The 3-month-old puppy is the first bloodhound in the department's history.
"Bloodhounds have a reputation for good tracking ability, and for a family that has a loved one that's missing, just seeing a bloodhound on the scene represents hope," Pam Medhurst, canine leader of the all-volunteer team, said.
Medhurst has been a volunteer with the 200 plus member unit for twenty-three years.
"It's just a passion that everyone follows, " Medhurst said.
Medhurst is Albert's handler.
"It was always his dream to get a bloodhound to add to the department," she said.
Sgt. Don Parker died before he was able to fulfill that dream. He spent roughly 25 years with the department, his final eight as the Search and Rescue Unit coordinator.
"Missing children are really, really tough to work, and Sgt. Parker really led the way in really being able to find what we were trying to find," Medhurst said.
Sgt. Parker led some of the county's largest and most infamous searches, including the searchings for missing teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois. Sgt. Parker died in 2018 of brain cancer. His middle name was Albert.
"Having Albert here just reinforces how much he was loved," Medhurst said.
Albert will complete roughly nine months of training before he officially reports for duty. He was a donation from the Honorary Deputy Sheriff Association.
For more information on the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team, click here.