Earlier today, the City of South Fulton Police Department held a K-9 swearing-in ceremony at City Hall for two new recruits, Sergeant Rolo and Corporal Franky. Police Chief Keith Meadows oversaw the proceedings as Mayor William “Bill” Edwards administered the oath to the furry crime fighters and their handlers, Sgt. D. Healey and Cpl. G. Fraker.
“We’re extremely excited about the implementation of our K-9 program,” said Chief Meadows. “They’re going to add a new level of enforcement to our agency and operate in a dual capacity. They will be fugitive apprehension dogs as well as narcotic dogs, this will help our police officers be more efficient in their day-to-day duties.”
K-9s are typically purchased from breeders and selected based on their size, temperament, drive and willingness to work. In addition to being assets in the line of duty, they are also often ambassadors in the community and participate in public events.
The South Fulton Police Department’s K-9 Unit is in its infancy but the selection process is extensive. Officers in the unit must have a minimum of three years of law enforcement experience. They are also required to kennel their assigned canine at their residence and maintain a suitable home environment. To ensure the environment meets the criteria for the canine assignment, spouses and family members of the candidates must also successfully complete an interview conducted in the home.
K-9s’ personalities vary and while some are approachable, some are not. The public is cautioned to never attempt to approach a K-9 without explicit consent of the handler.
Photo: Chief Meadows stands by as Corporal Franky prepares to be sworn-in.