By Liz McMahan
Sara Rothrock can spot ‘em a mile away — the people who are crawfish-eating experts and the newcomers.
The experts don’t wear white shirts, she said. One drop of crawfish juice that’s not properly treated forever ruins a good shirt.
Rothrock wasn’t wearing a white shirt for Saturday’s crawfish boil to raise funds for the Muskogee Police Department’s K-9 unit and Muskogee Crimestoppers.
Rothrock lived just north of New Orleans for about 12 years and became somewhat of an expert on cooking — and eating crawfish.
She moved her hands deftly as she demonstrated how to break one of the critters open, peel away part of the shell and suck out the meat.
Chuck Logsdon of Okay, who lived at Lake Charles, La., for many years and is moving back there next month, said Saturday’s food was “delicious.”
“The crawfish were out of this world,” he said. “This was like being at home.”
Most of Saturday’s feed was done by donation by police officers, members of Crimestoppers and local businesses.
Chad Niell of Jonesboro, Ark., volunteered to cook. He owns Tiger Commissary and was recruited for the job a few weeks ago when Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson invited everyone at a peace officers meeting to attend Saturday’s event.
Niell brought 25 coolers loaded with 800 pounds of live river basin crawfish with him from Arkansas for the event. There’s a lot to know about cooking crawfish, including that they have to be kept live until they are cooked, he said.
“You have to keep them in ice,” he said. “Too much ice and they die; not enough ice and they die.”
The money raised Saturday will be put toward the purchase of at least two new dogs for the K-9 unit, said Muskogee Police Officer Brad Holt. All the money raised Saturday will be matched by Masonic Lodge 28, with some of the funds going to the Crimestoppers group.
Holt said the police department’s K-9 Unit has five dogs on the street: Four all-purpose animals and one narcotics dog. The all-purpose animals are used in searches. The narcotics dog is mostly used in traffic stops.
The department needs new dogs because it lost two in the last year, one with cancer and one because of a spinal injury. Two other of the K-9 Unit dogs are about 10 years old, which means they will soon have to be retired, Holt said.
The department would like to get two or three new dogs as soon as possible, because it takes about six months to a year to get them acquainted with their handlers, he said.
All-purpose dogs cost $10,000 to $13,000. Narcotics dogs are $5,000 to $6,000 each, Holt said.
You can help
The Muskogee Police K-9 unit accepting donations for new dogs.
Mail contributions to Muskogee Police Department, in care of the K-9 Unit, 112 S. Third St., Muskogee, OK 74401.
Reach Liz McMahan at 918-684-2926 orClick Here to Send Email