Grantville acquires new police dog
by Clay Neely
Grantville’s newest addition to the police department has a nose for crime.
“Xena,” a young Belgian Malinois, is now working alongside Officer William Faulkner, Grantville’s Officer of the Year.
Faulker and Xena spent five weeks of training in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with ACLEOTC (Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officer's Training Center), which specializes in training police service dog teams all across the United States and in 14 foreign countries.
During the five weeks in Tuscalosa, Xena and Faulkner trained intensively in the fields of detection of contraband, working around other dogs and even tracking suspects.
“We have had a lot of our bad guys run from us and we lose them in the woods,” said Grantville Police Chief Doug Jordan. “By the time Coweta gets down with their dogs, they’re long gone. Now we’re on their tail immediately.”
During her first week on the job, Xena went straight to work. In a domestic violence incident, the suspect fled into the woods. Xena followed the scent all the way to the front door of a relative of the suspect who was hiding inside.
Xena will be working along the interstate and in the city. If an officer believes something is in the car, using a dog is often the best way to determine if their suspicions are correct.
Along with tracking people and searching cars, Xena is trained to search houses and even buried contraband.
“Xena can find a crack rock half the size of your pinky fingernail that’s buried underground,” Faulkner said. “Their threshold for what they can smell is remarkable.”
Jordan recalled an incident where upon arresting a drug dealer, a search was performed of the house but to no avail. Eventually, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office brought their dog and found the missing contraband.
“Sometimes they can hide them in the best of places where law enforcement couldn’t find them using traditional methods,” Jordan said. “A dog can find it right away.”
Having a dog like Xena is also seen as a preventative measure, according to Grantville Mayor Jim Sells.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we’re doing both,” Sells said. “Our police department’s most important goal is to prevent crime and this really helps. We’re trying to make this a community where citizens can enjoy a first class quality of life and it all starts with our police department.”
Jordan believes that drug arrests in the area aren’t just isolated to the interstate but are becoming even more prevalent in the surrounding communities.
“Greenville, Grantville, Newnan – the drugs are here but the word is out,” Jordan said. “It’s time for dealers to move their drug business out of this town.”
The acquisition of Xena was made possible through a grant from the Coweta-Fayette EMC. The grant allowed the city of Grantville to match funds with the EMC for the grand total of the police dog which came out to be $9,000 dollars.
“We can’t say enough good things about EMC,” Jordan said. “They really helped us out tremendously. This wouldn’t be possible without their help.”