RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A dedicated member of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has retired after more than five years serving the Commonwealth.
Bailey, a 6 year-old black Labrador Retriever, who has been a member of the Department of Wildlife Resources Conservation Police since 2017, retired on Jan. 10. Bailey and her handler, Jim Patrillo, were assigned to eastern Virginia and helped investigate crimes ranging from trespassing and poaching to homicide.
“She was really good at what she did, not just the regular CPO work, but when we added in the human remains detection and she became quite proficient at that as well,” said Patrillo. “It was great watching her go from a pudgeball puppy and progress into, in my opinion, one of the best dogs we had.”
On Nov. 5, 2022, Bailey contributed to three separate investigations in one day. First, she found wadding material from a shotgun slug after a shooting in Hanover County. She was then called to Henrico County to investigate a trespassing and was able to track a group of fishermen on private property two miles from where their vehicle was parked.
Then, Bailey was dispatched to search the vehicle of a homicide suspect in Westmoreland County. She was able to find the victim’s blood on the bumper of the vehicle, which had been washed, waxed and spray-painted.
“If she didn’t find it, I was pretty confident it wasn’t there,” said Patrillo. “I got calls from all over the region and state from people who knew her reputation and would ask us to come out so Bailey could help them find a shell casing or something else they were looking for. One case I remember in particular was a horse that had been shot during hunting season. They’d been working the case for two weeks when they called and asked for Bailey to come out, and within minutes of us being on site, she was able to find the shell casings and the wad they’d been looking for.”
Bailey now lives with Patrillo, who has also left the Conservation Police and now serves as Waterways Program Manager for DWR, and his family.