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ESD K9 Gilly back with second trading card | News | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

When DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department Detective Jessica Palmer paid to have a trading card made with the likeness of her K9 partner “Gilly,” she had no idea that the cards would be so popular.

Palmer had 1,000 cards printed last November and handed them out to children and yes, even adults, at various community events wherever she and Gilly were at as a public relations tool. Just like a baseball card, the “Gilly” card featured a picture on the front of the 2 year-old Goldador and some random “stats” on the back about his duties and personality.

The cards proved to be so popular with the public that demand soon outstripped supply. She’s since had to order a new batch of cards.

“I have like three or four left,” Palmer said. “People love them. I hand them out at places like the Farmers Market and wherever we are asked to give a presentation. It’s definitely a good ice breaker, especially with the kids. I was surprised that the adults thought it was cool too. They want one too.”

Now she sees the cards all around DeSoto County hanging up at businesses. People come up to her now all the time and tell her how they met Gilly and have his card in their office.

“It’s starting to where now when I am out people are saying ‘Hi, Gilly!,’” Palmer said.

Palmer said she got the idea for the trading card when she was at a conference at the District Attorney’s Office in Luzerne Township in Pennsylvania. 

“Another ESD K9 handler had some cards and I thought it was really neat,” Palmer said. “Actually, there are several departments that have trading cards. So I searched for companies and I found K9 Heroes cards. They has so many cool designs.”

Palmer wrote the blurb on the back about Gilly herself. The new batch of cards – which haven’t yet been printed – will have an all new photo of Gilly and different information explaining his role with the department and fun facts like “when Gilly is off duty, he enjoys being near his handler and playing with his fur brothers and sisters,” and his motto: We find what is hidden.

Gill has been with Palmer since last October and is more than just a K9 officer. The dog is an ESD, which stands for Electronic Storage Detection. ESD dogs like Gilly are trained to detect storage devices like SIM cards in cell phones, computer hard drives, USB drives, and even hidden cameras. The canines are able to sniff out evidence contained on computers and laptops during searches which are used to arrest suspects in cases involving internet crimes and financial crimes like embezzlement.

“A lot of cases I work are internet crimes against children,” Palmer said. “When we get a tip and are executing a search warrant on a child predator’s home, they usually don’t leave this stuff laying around because they don’t want anybody to see what they are doing. And also in the back of their mind they know we may be coming to knock on the door one day, so they keep it hidden.

“You can spend five hours at someone’s house and go through every nook and cranny and still miss something. Gill can go in there and clean a room out in five minutes. Or if someone throws a cell phone out of their car into the woods, or a missing person who might have their cell phone with them, Gilly can find things of that nature too.”

Palmer said so far, Gilly has helped in about seven investigations, including a recent case in Olive Branch involving a pastor, and assisted in a missing person’s case in Marshall County.

“Everything electronic that holds storage has a chemical compound that is sprayed on it,” Palmer said. “That’s what he hits on, that chemical compound. He can even find devices under water.”

Palmer said the trading cards have been a very effective public relations tool and are a great way to promote the Sheriff’s Department.

The new found fame hasn’t gone to Gilly’s head. Palmer likens his personality to that of Eeyore in the Winnie-the-Pooh books. 

“He’s not gloomy or depressed,” Palmer said. “But he is very un-excitable. He is very calm and laid back for a two year-old Lab. He loves kids. He just wants to work and get his kibbles.” 

Palmer said she wouldn’t be surprised if there is a third Gilly trading card in the near future.

“I don’t even have the cards for this one yet,” Palmer laughed. “That was just the proof. But yeah, if I do another one it will probably be sometime around the first of the year. I will do a different pose and write some more on the back. And if someone from out of state or out of the area wants one of his cards, I will do a paw print stamp and mail it out.”


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