DCP's K-9 Unit tracks people, relies on donations

When DCP K-9 Dome' isn't relaxing with his ball, he's tracking citizens, suspects and crime scene items / Sarah Bleau

The Dougherty County Police K-9 Unit made a presentation at Tuesday's Albany Crime Stoppers meeting; one of two dogs in DCP's K-9 Unit stopped by for a demonstration.

Sgt. Lee Reynolds with the K-9 Unit says their dogs are used for tracking people and apprehending them; they are not drug or bomb sniffing dogs. He says the dogs helped Albany police find a robbery suspect quickly by tracking a scent that led police to where the suspect dumped his clothes, gun and cell phone; he says they used the cell phone to call the suspect's mother who told them how to find him.

Reynolds says the dogs are trained to attack when called onto a suspect or not attack when they are called off a suspect. He says, however, the dogs have not bit anyone.

There is no money from the county to fund the K-9 Unit, Reynolds says, so he and another officer raised the initial $68,000 to obtain and train two dogs for DCP.

"We did that through private donations and through grants from businesses, and we were able to put together the funds to purchase the dogs. Some of that was also donations of materials like the kennel that's at DCP," says Reynolds.

He says the DCP Chief does have a checking account specifically for K-9 Unit funds. If you would like to donate to them you can contact the Dougherty County Police Department Chief's Office; Reynolds says to earmark the donation for the K-9 Unit.