Gainesville Police Department K-9 Unit goes on patrol after sergeant resigns, department reviews policies
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The officers in K-9 Unit at the Gainesville Police Department are moving to patrol after the sergeant in charge of the unit resigned. It comes as some call for the embattled unit to be abolished following the arrest of Terrell Bradley.
According to police department officials, the officers will report to Patrol Support Lt. Mike West starting on Jan. 9. The officers will continue to train their dogs and bring them along during their shifts. The dogs will not be used for tracking suspects.
Officials say the situation is “temporary” as they search for a new K9 Unit sergeant to lead the unit. The police department’s drug-sniffing dog is not a part of the K-9 unit and will continue standard duties.
The department will take this time to review current GPD policies and procedures and evaluate how the “K-9s will be deployed until new leadership has been identified and trained.”
RELATED: Gainesville Police officers cleared in Terrell Bradley arrest investigation, 2 others suspended
The unit faced criticism following the July 2022 arrest of Terrell Bradley. He lost his eye after being apprehended by a K-9 unit while running from a traffic stop. An investigation into the matter found that the K-9 Unit followed department policies. Some citizens have called for those policies to be changed or even for the unit to be disbanded.
“The Gainesville Police Department’s K-9 Unit will remain a vital component of the overall deployment to serve the City of Gainesville,” Chief Lonnie Scott said in a statement. “Each handler will continue their roles and responsibilities in uniformed patrol with adjustments in the manner in which the K-9s are utilized until the new supervisor is named. The Department will follow both CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) and federal guidelines in maintaining the certifications of each team.”
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