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New K9 Policy Sparks Protest From Some Martinsburg Residents

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A new policy that'll assign police dogs to another handler has sparked protest from some Martinsburg residents.

The Journal reports Martinsburg police said in a statement Saturday that supervisors will no longer be assigned as canine handlers.

Police Chief Maury Richards says a review found that supervisors couldn't perform both tasks effectively.

The policy goes into effect May 1.

The canine handler position will be offered to patrolmen, who'll complete a two-week training with the dog before beginning their assignments around mid-May.

Resident Melonie Phelps was joined by others as she led a rally Monday for her husband, police Sgt. Craig Phelps, to keep Argos, the department's canine drug dog.

She says she's devastated knowing Argos, who she considers a part of her family, will be with another handler.

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