Police Department’s new ‘chief’ is more than just a found dog | Georgia News

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By LARRY HOBBS, Brunswick News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The newest member of the Glynn County Police Department may not seem so important.

After all, he is nothing but a hunting dog.

But Chief, the purebred bloodhound and his ultra-sensitive nose, will soon be a valuable asset on many fronts for the county police department. And, from a PR perspective, the cuteness factor of this droopy-faced, floppy-eared, short-legged pup is out of this world.

“I fell in love with him 30 seconds after I met him,” Glynn County Police Chief Jacques Battiste said of the chief. “He’s a precious person. Glynn County residents will love it.

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The 10-week-old police dog is also something of a legacy, named as he is with a nod to one of the most respected law enforcement officers in Glynn County history. Chief’s acquisition was made possible by a donation from the family of former Glynn County Police Chief Carl Alexander. Money from the Carl Alexander Memorial Fund was added to a grant from the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction, which means the chief’s addition to the police force is free for taxpayers, Battiste said.

“We are so thrilled to see all the donations people have made in Carl’s memory going to such a great cause, and a very sweet one at that,” said Carl Alexander’s daughter, Grace Alexander Albright. “We look forward to seeing the good that Chief is doing in our community. If he looks like his namesake, he will do great things.

Once his training is complete, Chief will prove to be an invaluable asset to the force, Battiste said. Bloodhounds are renowned trackers, just as adept at finding lost loved ones as they are at cornering bad guys. Between the area’s appeal as a retirement and vacation destination, having Chief on call is likely to bring happy endings to tense times, Battiste said.

“This Bloodhound has a scent ability that can track even the most distant scents on any type of terrain,” Battiste said. “It can be versatile, tasked with everything from locating a missing child to handling silver alerts, like a missing elderly person with dementia. And it can track prisoners or escaped criminals from a crime scene. If we get a scent, he can follow relentlessly.

Along with breaking hearts left and right around police headquarters, the chief is currently staying with one of the department’s K9 handlers, Battiste said. It has not yet been determined which officer will be his full-time partner. The chief will soon leave for training, which will be conducted in Florida by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the National Police Bloodhound Society.

“They like to start them early with scent recognition,” Battiste said. “We got him at an early age so he can get very friendly. We want him to have as much contact with people as possible.

The recent addition of Ghost brought the number of dual-purpose K9s in the force to four. Albright said his father would be proud to know the department’s fifth police dog is being added to the force on his behalf.

“Dad always stood up for the K-9 unit,” she said. “Supporting this department was the first thought when we spoke to Deputy Chief (Rickey) Evans about the Carl Alexander Memorial Fund grant.”

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