The Polk County Police Department will soon have a new officer on patrol to help sniff out crime — in some cases literally.
The Polk County Commission voted unanimously at its regular meeting last Tuesday to accept the department’s request to receive a new drug dog. The dog, named Joc, will come to the agency free of charge after being previously trained as a protection dog for a family.
“The dog is at a kennel in Cartersville right now. Thankfully for us he didn’t work out as with the original family as a protection dog, so we were offered the chance to get him,” Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd said.
Joc will be the department’s second drug dog after K-9 Joep, who is handled by Sgt. Josh Smith. Dodd said Smith has evaluated Joc and believes he will be an asset to the agency’s K-9 program.
“It will be good to have a second K-9, to have one for day shift and one for night shift,” Dodd said. “Plus, it will be good to relieve some of the pressure on the other agencies in the county who have a drug dog, like Cedartown and the sheriff’s office.”
Dodd said they will have to train Joc first before deciding which officer to promote as his handler. There will also need to be upgrades for one of the patrol cars to outfit it for a kennel and other equipment that will be beneficial to the dog.
“Fortunately our current K-9 program has been very successful in taking drugs off of the streets and, in turn, confiscating drug asset money,” Dodd said. “And because of those arrests, we can use that money to pay for the program to save the taxpayers money.”
Dodd said the move to get another drug K-9 comes at the right time as they have seen an uptick in drug activity.
“We appreciate the board for moving quickly on this and giving us the opportunity to expand our K-9 program,” Dodd said.
In other news, the county police department announced last week that it has received a $25,000 technology grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help finance new laptop computers for its patrol cars.
“The loss of one life on our roads is one to many, and the fact almost all fatal traffic crashes can be prevented is one reason why we’re awarding this grant,” Allen Poole, Director of Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said in a release. “The target of zero traffic deaths in our nation is achievable, and we will continue to help develop and implement educational messages, enforcement campaigns, and other safety initiatives aimed at bringing us one step closer to our goal.”
The Polk County Police Department noted it is very appreciative of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s support of local efforts to reduce fatal crashes.
“The grant money has a huge impact on our agencies ability to use technology as a tool to reduce fatal crashes,” the release stated. “The department would also like to thank Polk County Police Officer Andy Anderson for heading up the GOHS campaign for our department and making us eligible to receive these grant funds.”