Citizens Police Academy, Thomasville

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Nathan, Leto and Aiken, along with their handlers, make up the Thomasville Police Department's K-9 Unit. These dogs may look sweet, but they are trained to track, search and detect the odor of humans and narcotics.

SGT Lavone Schiver of the Thomasville Police Department K-9 unit says, "Our goal is to assist the citizens of Thomasville in stopping criminal activity."

As part of the Citizens Police Academy, students were able to get up close and personal with these special German shepherds.

Rev. Gregory Robinson, a student at Citizens Police Academy, says, "Incredible. Incredible. I'm not really an animal lover, but their jobs are so awesome. I mean, to be able to track and to be able to detain suspects and go out and rescue the drugs."

Student Kathy Megahee says being in the Citizens Police Academy helps her with her role as director of the family connection.

Kathy says, "My job or my purpose is to have a very good understanding of the resources that are available to our families and our children in Thomas County."

SGT Schiver says, "Actually get out with us in the Citizens Police Academy and actually learn some of the hands-on stuff that we have to do to do our job. There's more to us than writing tickets."

For these men, their dogs are part of their family and they say continuous training and working side by side forms a special relationship between handler and animal, and it's this bond that officers wanted these students to understand and take with them as they continue at the Citizens Police Academy.