K9 units: How they are ‘force multiplier’ for LCSD

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Police dogs, also known as K9 officers, are dogs trained to assist law enforcement.

With their keen senses, they can assist in finding narcotics or missing people.

Sergeant Jeff Edmondson with the Lowndes County Narcotics Division says working with canines presents unique challenges.

“The training that we have to upkeep, we have to maintain 16 hours a month,” Edmondson said. “The vet bills, the food, it gets kind of pricey.”

Despite all the obstacles, Sergeant Edmondson says having a K9 is a force multiplier.

“Most dogs can smell way better than humans can,” Edmonson said. “So, lots of stuff we miss like narcotics and bombs and those kinds of things, the dogs can pick up on them easily, really quick. One officer and a dog can show up, and it’s like showing up with 10 officers.”

Part of their 16-hour training requires them to find narcotics and catch criminals.

Many of the dogs learn commands in foreign languages, partly because many come from overseas.

“If I send my dog after somebody and they speak English, they can tell my dog no or stop, and I don’t want them to be able to command my dog,” Edmondson said.

Edmondson says it’s a lengthy process to get approval for the dogs, but having them adds to the department, and during the training process, they develop an unbreakable bond.

“Just like your dog at home, when you come home, they want to see you, they want to play with you,” Edmondson said. “It’s the same for us, they want to see us, and they want to play with us, but they also know we want them to work.”

Edmondson says they normally work with Lowndes County for 10 to 12 years.

After their retirement, the officers can keep them or donate them to someone who may need them.

For 24/7 news and updates, follow us on Facebook and X

Categories: Featured, Local News