Baro, a 14-month-old Belgian Malinois, will be joining the Floyd County Police Department as a Narcotics Detection K-9 on May 22.

A third K-9 unit will be added to the Floyd County Police Department after an anonymous citizen donated $21,000 to the department back in January.

According to Sgt. Chris Fincher, they decided to get a new K-9 added to the department’s existing unit to help with the narcotics division.

“It’s going to add another level of service and be a great new asset to the department,” Fincher said. “It also goes along with our mission as a HIDTA region.”

HIDTA, or High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, is a designation given to areas and communities that see a greater amount of narcotics and drug distribution. Fincher believes that by adding another K-9, they’ll have another layer of protection for the community.

The new K-9 is Baro, a 14-month-old Belgian Malinois, which is the same breed as FCPD’s K-9 Lex and Rome Police Department’s Ash.

Baro is still in training at Southern Coast K-9 in New Smyrna Beach, where Fincher believes they also got Lex from. The K-9’s future partner, Officer Baker Harbin, has already traveled down to meet him.

He’ll return in mid-April to go through his own training as a handler and to further bond with Baro.

Harbin became interested in becoming a K-9 handler after he started volunteering with the local K-9 training group over the last year and a half. He was chosen based on his experience as a senior officer and the amount of training he’s already been doing.

“I takes an extreme amount of training throughout the year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the day-in and day-out interactions with him and having a different challenge.”

The Floyd County Commission approved the purchase of the K-9 and the training fee at their meeting Tuesday night.

Harbin will return from training with Baro in tow on May 22, where Baro will officially become an FCPD K-9.

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