When the Hillsboro Woman’s Club met at the Highland County Senior Citizens Center for its October luncheon meeting, the meeting was attended by Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera and Sgt. Craig Seaman, as well as the department’s trained guard dog, Jango.
Jango, explained Seaman, is a dual purpose dog, trained to sniff out drugs and to assist with criminal apprehension. The large German shepherd, who lives with and is handled by Seaman, displayed his ability to seek out drugs by their smell. The dog also points and stays in that position until the drugs are confiscated. His reward is a tennis ball-sized red rubber ball. He is also trained in officer protection, which he does by holding the suspected criminal at bay. Jango has proven that he can detect drugs in 10 out of 12 instances, and he and Seaman are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The dog will be expected to retire at age 8 or 10 years.
Barrera then addressed the club members. The son of Carol and Eddie Barrera, he attended Capital University and the Brown County Police Academy. His responsibility is to guard some 43,000 Highland County residents each day, as well as to serve as a coroner’s investigator. He has been awarded by the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association and DARE (Drug Awareness, Resistance and Education). He explained he first starting working with former sheriffs Tom Horst and later with Ron Ward. In 2014, he assumed the duties of sheriff of Highland County. The HCSO currently has 72 inmates in the jail. He also noted that they have saved three inmates with the use of Narcan, a drug used to combat drug overdoses.
Barrera spoke briefly on their use of a drone, armed with a camera, which helps in search and rescue operations and then spoke about fraud, often committed over the phone, and warned club members to be aware of this problem, particularly aimed at senior citizens. Monies collected by scam artists are seldom available to be returned to the victims. Victims of fraud should call AARP Elder Watch at 1-800-222-4444, Option 2. Leaflets were distributed to all present with vital information and accompanying phone numbers to report frauds or scams.
Following a delicious meal served by the members of the center, club president Helen Ford conducted a brief business meeting. She reminded members that they are to decorate a room at the Highland House Museum for the Christmas holidays with Toy Fender, Pat Hope and Ford on the committee.
Twenty-three members and two guests were in attendance.
Gretchen Huffman read the minutes of the last meeting, held at the Clinton County Historical Society, and Betty Ann Walker reported on the treasury of the club. Card Chairman Jean Wallis reported she had sent several get well cards and one sympathy card recently.
The next meeting of the club will be held at the senior center with Martha Saylor, Peggy Addington and Pauline Cameron as hostesses. Members are encouraged, but not required, to bring a new toy, under $10, to be given to the local Toys for Tots committee.
Submitted by Gretchen Huffman.