Canine Academy: Police dogs get street ready -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Canine Academy: Police dogs get street ready

Lt. Darby Colvin Lt. Darby Colvin
Lieutenant Marsha Peavy Lieutenant Marsha Peavy

Canines are one of the most valuable tools in law enforcement.   They help officers keep our streets clean of criminals and drugs.   But getting man's best friend street ready takes time and patience.   

From finding drugs, to taking down suspects, these canines are more than a law enforcer's best friend; they're partners in fighting crime.      

"You get such a bond with them, because we spend so much time together, every day," said Lt. Darby Colvin.         

Lieutenant Marsha Peavy, a canine instructor with the Dooly County Sheriff's Office, has worked with dogs for more than 20 years.  Alpha's been her partner for the past three.  

"Alpha is actually trained in narcotics, criminal apprehension and tracking," said Peavy.   The training is a rigorous six to eight week course that attracts agencies from all over.   "We have a real good program. We're very open-minded in how we train, but it's just the way that we do train I think that attracts a lot of people also because the end product is really good," said Peavy.     

But not every dog can be a four legged crime fighter.  Selecting the right pup is just as important as the actual training.  

"Our selection test is right there with the US Border Patrol. We select those type, strong dogs, that way they won't let us down in working," said Darby.       "The style and method that we use is called PSP. This one actually originated from Germany and it was developed by the Germans," said Peavy.  

"We've had several good seizures. Since January 2013 over a million in currency in narcotics. Our tracking is turning out to be very well, criminal apprehension as well," said Peavy.     "They're a very big asset, especially finding concealments, compartments in vehicles that they use all the time as far as trafficking narcotics and weapons and stuff like that. We couldn't do our job without them," said Darby.     

A job of keeping communities safe, and keeping drugs and criminals off the streets.  Law enforcers who work with dogs are required to undergo 20 hours of training a month, but Lt. Peavy says the best practice is experience.

"It takes going through several dogs or testing several dogs to be able to have an eye for it, and to know what you're really supposed to have, what you should expect in a dog."  The Dooly County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit has four dogs, one is strictly trained in explosives.


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