Date: September 18, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
PCSO, LPD K-9 Teams Win Top Honors in Nation, Joint Media Demonstration to be Held Thursday

Two local K-9 teams brought home top national honors from the United States Police Canine Association National K-9 Field Trials in August. The Polk County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit placed second in the team competition during the week-long event, and the Lakeland Police Department team placed first in the team competition.

ALERT TO MEDIA: A joint agency recognition ceremony and K-9 demonstration will be held this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001, at 10 a.m. at the Polk County Sheriff's Office training center East of Bartow. The media is encouraged to attend the ceremony/demonstration. Photo/video opportunities of the canines in training will be arranged.

A total of 163 competitors from throughout the country participated in the national competition held Aug. 27-31, 2001, in Minnesota. During the competition, the K-9 teams are tested in areas of obedience, agility, search work, and bite work.

Four Sheriff's Office K-9 handlers participated in the competition:

Deputy Jim Bryan with K-9 "Ruger," placed 14th
Deputy Matt Williams with K-9 "Rocky," placed 21st
Deputy Herb Bennett with K-9 "Cezar," placed 22nd
Deputy Tonya Bussiere with K-9 "Maros," placed 66th

Four Lakeland Police Department K-9 handlers participated in the competition:

Officer Jeff Barrett with K-9 "Logan," placed 6th
Officer Jose Bosque with K-9 "Lars," placed 13th
Officer Charlie Dallas with K-9 "Dino," placed 13th
Officer Ron Bowling, Sr., with K-9 "Adler"

K-9 units are trained to assist patrol deputies with searching buildings for hidden suspects, tracking/apprehending fleeing assailants, conducting building searches, searching for lost or missing persons, evidence recovery, narcotic detection, explosive detection, tactical deployments, crowd control and interdiction of illegal narcotics trafficking.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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