SALUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS: VPD canine officer talks loss, renewal

Published 4:36 pm Saturday, March 30, 2024

Officer Blake Scallions has a special job within Vicksburg Police Department (VPD): He is a canine officer and has been on the
force for four years.

Born and raised in Vicksburg, Scallions said a career in law enforcement is something he was interested in from an early age.
“Just being a canine officer for law enforcement really struck me,” he said. “At about seventh grade, it hit me and I stayed interested in it all the way up until where I’m at now.”

One of his favorite aspects of being in law enforcement is the variety found in day-to-day tasks.

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“One thing I love about law enforcement is it’s something different every day,” he said. “It might be the same calls or the same
person every now and then, but each day I get up and I don’t know what I’m going to go through that day.”

This variety goes hand-in-hand with the multitude of skill sets required for law enforcement work.

“Somebody that doesn’t know me will say, ‘Man, what do you do?’ I’m like, ‘Well, I’m a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic, a therapist, a babysitter. I mean, I’m everything.’ Because that’s the truth,” he said. “When you’re in law enforcement, you have a million different titles.”

Tragically, about three months ago, Scallions lost his canine partner Luna in an off-duty accident.

“I’ve had to figure out who I am again because of it. It knocked me down so low,” Scallions said. “I even thought about quitting.”

He added that many people were encouraging him to continue his work, but one piece of encouragement came from an unlike-
ly source.

“What really struck me one day is one of our usual violators, he’s always in and out of jail, he had found out that my dog had
passed. And he looked me dead in the eyes while he was in custody with me and told me, ‘Officer Scallions, you can’t quit. You got to get another dog. You cannot quit.’ And that struck me because I’m taking this man to jail,” he said. “That let me know right then and there that I was doing a good job and I’m doing the right thing.”

Scallions added that he’ll need a bit more time to recover from his loss, but he plans to press on.

“As soon as I know I’m ready, I’ll get back into the canine ordeal, and it’ll be my goal to get illegal narcotics out of the city,” he said. “That’s my main goal.”