January 26, 2024

Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office’s Newest K-9 Apollo Joins Department’s First Female K-9 Handler

The 3-year-old Belgian Malinois passed the narcotic detection certification through the Virginia Police Work Dog Association.

Virginia Beach Sheriffs Office K9 Apollo Sitting On Grass With Ball

Master Deputy Crystal Repass has spent more than 16 years with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office (VBSO). She’s worked in Correctional Operations, Intake/Release and Civil Process. But it’s her love for working with dogs that has led her to become VBSO’s first woman in its K-9 unit.

The accolades don’t stop there. Repass and her new four-legged partner, Apollo, passed their first narcotic detection certification on Tuesday through the Virginia Police Work Dog Association (VPWDA). Both Apollo and Repass are now certified through the VPWDA. The nonprofit organization assists police K-9 teams in Virginia and the U.S. through workshops and certifications in Patrol/Utility, Narcotic Detection, Explosive Detection and Accelerant Detection, according to the VPWDA website.

During the narcotic detection certification, Repass and Apollo showed accuracy in all areas of evaluation including screening building interiors, vehicles, luggage/parcel and couriers. Apollo gave positive alert to five certifiable drug odors. He is also able to alert fentanyl (VPWDA does not have a fentanyl-certification process currently).

A Valued Breed

Apollo is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois and was donated last year by VBSO deputies Sgt. Nancy Bass and Master Deputy Joe Bass. Apollo comes from a breed valued for their strength, stamina and keen sense of smell.

These characteristics make Apollo an asset in the Sheriff’s Office’s fight against fentanyl and other drugs. The keen-scented hound can locate even the smallest quantities of fentanyl.

Serving the Community

The pair trained approximately six months and will now conduct searches in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center and public spaces, as requested. They will also assist other law enforcement agencies with narcotic-related investigations.

In a VBSO news release, Repass said “working with K9 Apollo will allow me to use my skills and dedication in a new and impactful way.” Read the news release, VBSO K-9 And Handler Certified in Narcotics Detection, Handler Is First Woman in K-9 Unit.

Master Deputy Crystal Repass With K9 Apollo

Looking for drug and opioid addiction treatment resources? Contact the Opioid Recovery and Treatment Services, call (757) 385-6956 or email VBOpioidtx@vbgov.com.

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Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office

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