The Peachtree City Police Department will be getting a new K9 to replace a police dog that recently retired from service.
Though it would only cost $4,000 to the city thanks to the other equipment already on hand, the measure squeaked by on a 3-2 vote, as councilmen Terry Ernst and Mike King voted against it.
Police Lt. Matt Myers explained that the second dog is necessary to maintain full-time K9 coverage for the city. The dogs improve officer safety and can help do some tasks, such as searching a building, far quicker than human officers can, Myers said.
Myers noted that K9s are also used in certain circumstances when officers suspect drugs are present during a traffic stop, but there is not enough evidence to obtain a warrant. If the K9 “hits” on a scent, that provides for the necessary warrant to search the vehicle, Myers explained.
The K9s have also found drugs hidden in vehicles where an officer was unable to search, Myers said.
Myers also shared a recent incident in which the K9 was useful for getting an armed suspect to surrender after he barricaded himself in an attic. The K9’s bark to establish a presence convinced the suspect to surrender peacefully, Myers said.
“He came out with no resistance after all other means failed,” Myers said.
The K9s also have the ability to track a fleeing suspect and that has led to the discovery of evidence discarded by the suspect such as shoes or cellphones, Myers said.
The $4,000 cost to the city is low because it already has K9 equipment for a new dog, and donations of food from Purina and veterinary care from the Animal Medical Clinic and Dr. Vince Obsitnik have helped tremendously, Myers said.
The money would come from the departments seized drug forfeiture funds, police said.