CASPER, Wyo. — Video of a Wyoming Deputy Sheriff and Deputy K9 appearing on a nationally syndicated talk show has been posted online.
The video has been shared below.
Deputy Sheriff Derek Morrell, and his canine partner, K9 Deputy Jara, were featured guests during a segment on the Dr. Phil television talk show.
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Dr. Phil is a daily one-hour talk show hosted by lifestyle strategist, Phil McGraw, which originally launched in the fall of 2002. The show often ranks as the #1 daytime talk show among all first-run syndicated strips, and CBS Viacom, the show’s production company, says that the program is licensed to nearly 50 territories and countries worldwide.
The appearance of the SCSO deputies was part of an ongoing segment on the program titled Behind the Badge, highlighting persons and stories surrounding law enforcement.
“Now, she’s a drug dog, so if any of you…ah…” McGraw quipped before trailing off, while introducing K9 deputy Jarra. “I’m just saying!”
During the video clip, McGraw affectionately pets Deputy Jarra after getting permission from her handler, then explained to the audience that before the taping, Depty Morrell had hidden a filter with the scent of heroin on the Dr. Phil set.
“So you put drugs on my stage, eh?” McGraw jokes in the segment.
“It’s actually not drugs, what we brought is a training aid,” Morrell explains to the audience, saying that the filter was analogous to touch-transfer of certain scents.
K9 Jarra then guides Deputy Morrell around the backstage area of the set, bypassing food, and sniffing areas of the stage, with television cameras following the process.
“Note the change in behavior,” Morrell tells McGraw as K9 Jarra alerts to a desk drawer behind the Dr. Phil set, ultimately nudging the drawer open with her nose.
Successfully finding the filter, K9 Jarra returned to the set to the sound of applause from the audience.
Morrell and Jara have received international publicity, for their efforts in successfully locating and rescuing a missing child in Rock Springs last summer.
The SCSO says that in July of 2019, a four-year-old boy had wandered out of their yard while playing, and had been missing for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. A statement from the SCSO says that the missing boy suffered some developmental delays that inhibited his ability to speak.
“Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Rock Springs Police Department immediately began canvassing the surrounding neighborhood in vehicles and on foot in search of the missing boy,” SCSO officials say. “Minutes later, Morrell and Jara arrived on scene and deployed from the residence in an effort to track the child by scent. Using an article of the boy’s clothing, Jara picked up a scent almost immediately. “
After persistently and forcefully dragging her human partner down an alleyway blocks away from the child’s home, officials say the K9 Jarra alerted to a locked vehicle parked in the alleyway.
The missing child was found curled up on the driver’s floorboard. After a precautionary evaluation by emergency medical personnel on scene, the child was reunited with his family.
“It was later determined that the boy found the vehicle unlocked and accidentally locked himself in the car after climbing inside,” SCSO says.
The Dr. Phil segment was tapped in front of a live studio audience after the SCSO was approached in December of 2019.
Officials with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s office said that they had originally planned a slow reveal, leading up to the announcement of Deputies Morrell and K9 Jarra taped appearance airing on the program, however the coronavirus caused COVID-19 pandemic stymied the social media strategy.
“So, we blame Rona for interfering with our unfinished mini-series ‘Where in the World is K9 Deputy Jara.’ Obviously, the idea was to have a little fun and drop clues in each episode leading up to the Dr. Phil announcement,” the SCSO said on social media. “After the Rona hit, we weren’t sure her appearance with ‘Dr. Phil’ would ever air. Then, we got a phone call that it was finally going to happen, but the whole turn of events left us with very little time to ramp back up the mini-series for a finale episode and the big reveal. Such is life. Especially in 2020.”
Morrell is a 10-year-veteran of the SCSO.
Serving since 2016, Jara is a six-year-old Belgian Malinois.