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New four-pawed officer joins the Havana Police Department

The newest (and youngest) officer with the Havana Police Department comes with four-paws and an excellent nose.

On Tuesday, August 31, Havana Chief of Police Tracy Smith introduced the newest officer, K9 Charlie, to the Havana Town Council at the council’s meeting.

K9 Charlie, a purebred bloodhound puppy, joins the police department as a generous donation from Promise Land Bloodhounds, a breeder based out of Orlando, Florida; the puppy will eventually be put to use by the agency as a search and rescue officer and will be handled by Havana Officer Amanda Winter.

“Bloodhounds are historically the best type of [dog] breed for tracking criminals and missing persons,” stated Chief Smith. “Promise Land Bloodhounds has produced top quality bloodhounds for agencies in not only Florida, but surrounding states.”

Havana Police Department’s K9 Charlie

According to Chief Smith, K9 Charlie will help the Havana Police Department in bringing home lost individuals and fleeing criminals – the latter of which is a problem Chief Smith says is on the rise in Gadsden County.

“Havana, as well as Gadsden County, has seen a rise in seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s wandering off and families need assistance in getting their loved ones home safe,” said Chief Smith. “We owe it to our community to provide as many tools as we can to ensure that we serve our citizens in the best way possible.”

According to statistics, Chief Smith says that 60% – or 3 out of 5 – people with Alzeimer’s Disease will wander away from home and go missing; K9 Charlie will help bring Havana’s missing folk back home to their loved ones.

The Havana Police Department will also be working at creating Scent Evidence Kits, as part of the Bringing Lost Home Project; these kits can be created by families and caretakers of individuals who may wander from home.

The kits will be stored in the event the person does wander off – and will allow K9 Charlie to track and locate the missing person.

K9 Charlie, at only nine weeks old, still has a lot of training to go before citizens see her out at work.

Currently, K9 Charlie is undergoing the typical puppy training, as well as bonding with her new handler, learning her leash, and undergoing social training.

Ashley Hunter –