Tallahassee Police Department gets new scent dog to help find missing people

By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 3, 2020

The group Scent Evidence K-9 donated the puppy, whose name is Jon Jon, to the Capital City's police force. (Photo: Tallahassee Police Department)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The Tallahassee Police Department has a new bloodhound, which will help officers find missing people.

The group Scent Evidence K-9 donated the puppy, whose name is Jon Jon, to the Capital City's police force.

The story of the pup's name goes back 52 years. He's named in honor of a 3-year-old boy who went missing off of Jacksonville Beach in 1968.

Jonathan Hagans' family now lives in Tallahassee and hopes the bloodhound can help others in the situation they once faced.

"We have very little information on that case," Paul Coley, CEO of Scent Evidence K-9 said.

As the family continues to search for answers, Scent Evidence K-9 lent a paw with its resources.

"They've opened up a cold case with the help of the Jacksonville Police Department in trying to find any and all evidence possible about my brother," Joel Hagans said. "Tallahassee can have their own scent
discriminate canine here in our backyard to help bring the lost home."

Joel said he found purpose in his pain by helping organize the donation of the bloodhound puppy to TPD.

"It's a really great honor to have something that can be so impactful right here in my community, and to be named after my brother and done in his honor really means a lot to the family," he said.

TPD officer Paul Coley said in a missing persons case, time is of the essence.

"The further you get away from the actual event the less success we have," Coley said.

According to TPD Sergeant Sonya Bush of the Special Victims Unit, in the last 12 months, TPD received more than 300 calls about missing people.

"People who have dementia or Alzheimer's who wander off, or small children, vulnerable children, or even autistic children," Sergeant Bush said. Having Jon Jon available to us right away is gonna save lives."

The Tallahassee Board of Realtors is setting up a GoFundMe page to raise $15,000 for the support and training of Jon Jon. TPD hopes to have the bloodhound trained in the next six months.

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