Doggedly Determined

It used to be that police dogs were seldom used, only called into action to help track a suspect or search a vehicle for drugs. Now Valdosta police are implementing the K-9 unit more often and officers say it's making a difference, especially in getting drugs out of certain neighborhoods.

Andre Porter, a Valdosta police officer, says, "The dog and I can go into a very crowded area, people will see home, and if they have drugs, they're afraid the dogs will find their drugs, so they leave immediately."

Officers say if you become a suspect, don't try to run away from a K-9.

"Call out and give up, even before the dog is deployed. It will save you from a lot of headaches and heartache in the long run."

You can't outrun the K-9 officer!

Valdosta police say they spend about eight hours a week training with each dog, whether it's out doing demonstrations or whether it's out in the field apprehending suspects, and the officers say the suspected criminals are getting the message that K-9 officers are impossible to evade.

Porter says, "Whenever I explain that the dog is going to be utilized or there is a dog on scene, I have no problems out of anybody."

Meaning simpler arrest, which is good news for both K-9 and human officers.

Law enforcement experts around our region say they are finding more uses for K-9 officers, especially for purposes of terrorism concerns.