SNELLVILLE – The city police department will add another four-legged member to its force thanks in large part to more than $10,000 in funds raised during the Snellville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association’s annual golf tournament last week.
Snellville Police Department Chief Roy Whitehead said the money from the golf tournament will cover most of the $14,000 cost for the K-9 and training for the officer slated to work with the dog. Training could take place in February, Whitehead said.
The golf tournament drew more than 100 participants, officials said.
The SPD K-9 Unit currently has three teams - Lt. David Matson and K-9 Jax, Sgt. O.J. Concepcion and K-9 Aron, and Sgt. Rain Nieddu and K-9 Cezar. The unit was designed to have four teams.
“With the retirement of one team, our goal is to return to full staff,” Whitehead said. “Officers indicated their interest in being the next handler. Officer Jacob Callaway has been selected to undertake this new responsibility.”
The K-9 Unit searches for narcotics and tracks and apprehends offenders. The K-9s protect their handlers and track missing children and adults to safely return them home.
“Our teams have been responsible for numerous arrests, found significant quantities of narcotics, located missing persons and property and many other services that keep our community safe,” Whitehead said.
The SCPAAA is a 501-C-3 organization founded in support of the SPD. The members complete the Citizens Police Academy and then join the alumni Association. They serve as ambassadors in the Snellville community and assist the department by providing necessary equipment in addition to the normal budgeting process.