GPD’s Canine (K-9) Unit returns to regular duty status

Press release from City of Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Gainesville Police Department Canine (K-9) Unit will return to regular duty status on Monday, January 22. This full reinstatement comes after 10 months under a Limited Deployment Protocol.

Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott first removed the K-9 Unit from service in late 2022 following an unexpected change in unit supervision. In March 2023, as the unit faced training challenges and a shortage of officers, Gainesville City Manager Cynthia W. Curry initiated the extended period of limited deployment to give the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) time to increase K-9 Unit staffing.

Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott reports the department has now met the minimum operational staffing goal. “Getting the K-9 Unit back to regular duty is an important step for our department,” said Chief Scott. “A well-trained K-9 Unit saves lives. The canines are used to find missing people, search for weapons, and track and apprehend armed and violent subjects.”

During the months spent in limited deployment, GPD has added two K-9 officers and two new canines, bringing the unit to its current staffing level of four K-9 teams. Additional changes include revised training protocols, improved supervision, and enhanced focus on safety measures and oversight.

In addition, the Canine Unit Policy Manual received a thorough review with a number of updates. These include an expanded list of the equipment provided to each handler and a higher level of detail in determining how and when the units will be deployed.

“Our intention with the limited deployment was to support the police department and its officers,” said City Manager Curry. “This strategic move has achieved the intended results. It gave GPD the opportunity to evolve procedures so our skilled and dedicated police officers can continue to have all the tools they need to protect our neighbors.”

While under limited deployment, the K-9 Unit was only activated on a case-by-case basis as approved by Chief Scott. After its scheduled return to full duty status on Monday, that decision can be made by other personnel in the chain of command in accordance with criteria listed in the updated policy manual. 

  • They never should have been disbanded in the first place. The hysterical Commissioners totally overreacted to the lies surrounding the idiot poking his own eye out trying to evade a K-9.

  • CM Curry is an______. You fill in the blank. The commissioners and GPD have wasted time, money and lost officers over this moronic decision to ban the canines. Curry thinks she did us a great service. More like a DISservice.

    • She’s ALL about the smoke & mirrors. The officers all see right through her BS & know she’s a snake in the grass and plays both sides of the fence.

  • Totally dishonest retcon of what happened to the Gainesville K-9 program, but the unit is back and that is a win for the citizens of Gainesville.

    Hope they get to take a bite out of crime real soon.

  • Gainesville Police Chief Lonnie Scott reports the department has now met the minimum operational staffing goal. “Getting the K-9 Unit back to regular duty is an important step for our department,”. WTF does minimum operational staffing mean? If it refers to the staffing of the K-9 Unit itself – No four dog teams is not enough. The city has continued to drive away officers who could be good K-9 officers or officers in general. The GPD / City leadership has lied to the public and to it’s own employees. Staffing on all shifts require overtime personnel to work just to have enough officers to work one hot call. God help the citizens if all hell breaks loose. Because you’re on your own.

  • These folks running our county and city, they really thing that the residents are a bunch of idiots, that we really and truly don’t know what is going on.

  • Hopefully they don’t have a curfew and team up with the Police Horses for some downtown , late night block party activities . Oh, Snap, they did away with the horses due to criminals complaining.

    • They did away with the horses when the new #2 guy Terry Pierce said in 2017 that “this isn’t 1960’s Detroit, we don’t shove people around with horses…” The officers who rode the horses were happy doing so and they worked well controlling crowds during nighttime downtown bar closing.

      • 1960s Detroit almost seems like a dream compared to 2020s San Francisco East, aka Gainesville

  • It’s about time. Note a WCJB reporter claimed most of the community was “opposed” to this. Red flag.

  • ‘Gainesville do we have a K9 unit 10-8? 54, none showing 10-8.
    Would you contact ASO see if they have one 10-8.’
    If you ever worked there you’d recognize this sad bit of radio traffic. SSDD.

  • The only other thing the city needs to do now is to educate felons to understand when a law enforcement officer gives you a command obey it don’t run bad things happen like getting bit

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