The Union Recorder

Local News

August 24, 2010

BCSO deputy training to become next K-9 officer

MILLEDGEVILLE — A Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy is going through a week-long training session this week at the old Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office on Linda Drive to become the next K-9 officer for Baldwin County.

Deputy Nathan Arp, who’s been a certified patrol deputy for a year, is working alongside several other law enforcement officers and K-9 dogs from Southern K-9 Services to complete training and certification.

According to Dep. Justin Seymour, who is handing over the reigns as a K-9 handler with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, becoming a K-9 officer requires an additional 120 hours of intensive training and school.

Additionally, the deputy must pass a 35-question certification exam with a score of 85 percent or better.

Other law enforcement officers with Toombs County, Montgomery County and the Wrightsville Police Department are also going through the training this week, which gives handlers an opportunity to learn about leash control, the dog’s behavior and general safety with the dog.

Baldwin County’s K-9 dog, Zatan, has been working with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office for the last two years, and the dog will soon be in the hands of Deputy Arp, said Seymour.

“[The other law enforcement officers] will be certified this week,” he said. “But [Deputy Arp] will be on the street in three weeks if he passes his certification.”

K-9 officers in training put on a full body armor suit Monday afternoon, allowing the dogs to attack the law enforcement officers as a way to train the dogs for apprehending suspected criminals.

Additionally, K-9 dogs are often used for finding narcotics and tracking individuals who are wanted by law enforcement.

Monday afternoon’s training tactics also included a round of scavenger hunts for dogs and their handlers, as they were tasked with finding narcotics that were hidden throughout the old Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

Dogs are rewarded upon finding narcotics in a room with the receipt of a toy.

The course was offered by Vidalia Police Department officer Tony Phillips, who owns a business known as Southern K-9 Services, and offers training for new K-9 dogs and officers throughout the year.

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