Douglasville Police Department K-9 "Krak" is now transitioning into retirement. The furry officer began working with the department when he was 2 years old and now at 7 1/2 years, his deteriorating health and age has caused the department to give him back to his partner, Officer Carl Enos.
DPD has five K-9s, one for every shift. With the retirement of Krak, DPD has now hired another contractor to recruit a new K-9 for law enforcement. The contractor heads out to Europe and tests a few young dogs, around the age of 2, before picking one to bring back to America. Back in the states, the contractor holds a handler's course, where he trains the dog and the selected handler together for 10 weeks to prepare for a certification test. If the handler and the K-9 pass the certification, then both become officially eligible to work with law enforcement together.
"Our dogs are called full-service dogs," Maj. J.R. Davidson said. "They're trained to smell drugs and alert on them. They're also trained in apprehension, which is when the dog's sent on somebody who's fleeing and the dog is trained to grab the person and hold them until the officer gets there. They also do article searches. Let's say someone's running from us, in a car chase, or even on foot and they throw a gun into some bushes. The dogs are trained where they'll find something that was recently thrown there."
Live K-9 demonstrations were one of the more popular attractions at last year's DPD Fall Festival in October. In the large-green field that sits in front of the department's building, K-9 Division Senior Patrol Officer Chris Williams entertained festival attendees by showing some of the K-9's capabilities of speed, strength, awareness, and the ability to jump. The crowd gave Williams and the K-9 large amounts of applause after every successful drill the pair completed. The K-9s serve a pivotal role in everyday patrol duties and they are certainly not taken for granted in Douglasville.
"The K-9s are an important part of police work," Davidson said. "They can do things that regular police officers can't do, so that's why they're important to us. They're an important tool."
It's been at least seven to eight years since the last Douglasville K-9 retired, according to Davidson. Enos is taking care of the dog full-time now as a personal pet.