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Senger retires

Lt. Daniel M. Senger III has retired from his position as deputy sheriff for Buckingham County after nearly four decades of service. In December, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors approved a request from Sheriff Bill Kidd allowing Senger to purchase his duty weapon at the price of $1.

According to a press release from the Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office, Senger began his career with the county after being hired by previous Sheriff Garnett Shumaker Jr. on March 1, 1980.

The release cites that Senger, an animal lover, immediately pushed for use of a tracking dog as a law enforcement tool for the county. Making his case, Senger explained that a dog could be utilized to assist in many cases, such as those pertaining to homicide, robberies, rape, breaking and entering, assault and missing persons.

Once Garnett was convinced, the question arose of where the funds would come from to invest in such a venture. Selflessly, Senger purchased his own bloodhound at his own expense.

Throughout the years, Senger, with the help of a canine companion, was responsible for the apprehension of criminal suspects in Buckingham County as well as several surrounding jurisdictions, the sheriff’s office highlighted. In one case involving the tragic murder of an Appomattox County woman, Senger and his K-9 at the time, “Rosie,” were able to follow a four-month-old track that proved instrumental in the conviction of the suspect.

Senger, recognized internationally as an expert instructor in the use of bloodhounds in law enforcement operations, has made several trips to Europe for the sole purpose of mentoring foreign law enforcement officers in their use. He often used his own vacation time to make these trips and did so at his own expense. The trips, the release cites, carried Senger to countries like Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and Great Britain, where he taught students about the use of K-9 units.

During his career, Senger participated in seminars and training sessions in other parts of the country. He is a charter member and instructor for the Virginia Bloodhound Search and Rescue Association and has a membership and instructing credentials in the National Police Bloodhound Association and the Virginia K-9 Search and Recovery Association. He is also a member of and a field trial judge for the American Bloodhound Club and the Colonial Bloodhound Club.

“Lieutenant Dan,” as he is jokingly referred to by his peers, has a thick personnel file full of commendations from county citizens and state and foreign dignitaries praising his service not only for his K-9 skills but as a deputy sheriff, the release cites.

At the Dec. 9, 2019, board meeting, Kidd requested to the board that Senger be allowed to purchase his own service pistol upon retirement.

“The Code of Virginia allows that a deputy sheriff who retires with 10 or more years of service, with the approval of the sheriff, be allowed to purchase his duty weapon at the price of one dollar,” Kidd stated to the board. “I feel this is the least I could do for his years of dedicated service, and I am asking the board’s blessing so we can make this happen. There is no doubt in my mind that Dan has fulfilled his oath of office and served our citizens without fear or favor.”

The board unanimously agreed to allow Senger the awarding of his service pistol.

When asked about Senger’s time with the sheriff’s office, Kidd commented, “Dan took his job seriously. It didn’t matter who you were. If you were wrong he would call your hand on it. He wasn’t afraid of anything or anybody. When you asked him to take care of a matter, you knew he would do his best to take care of it.”

He continued, “He is and will be missed by all of us, especially his off-beat sense of humor! We all wish him the very best in the retirement he has definitely earned. I cannot help but wonder how much of an impact his hound handling instruction may have had on other law enforcement officers here and in fact, in other countries. How many criminals have been or will be brought to justice as a result of his efforts on their behalf? It is quite a legacy, isn’t it?”