By Benny Westcott
The New Era 

New police dog already making impact


July 19, 2023

Benny Westcott

Officer Brian Prather and Murphy pose.

It didn't take long for Sweet Home Police Department's new K9 officer to make an impact.

The department, which has been without a dog for nearly a year, had literally just gotten its K9 division back in action when, on the night of July 8, SHPD Officer Brian Prather heard over the radio a request from Linn County Sheriff personnel for a canine to help chase down an assault suspect near Riverbend Campground east of Sweet Home.

So the handler and his new dog Murphy, a 2-year-old German shepherd, went in pursuit.

Murphy was able to cross the South Santiam River near the campground, despite h...

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