Sheriff Watson and GPD Chief Scott announce agreement on K-9 services

Press release from Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police Department

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On March 8, 2023, Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr., Gainesville City Manager Cynthia W. Curry, Gainesville Police Department Chief Lonnie Scott, and members of Sheriff Watson’s Command Staff met with one another in a joint effort to address public safety as it pertains to the use of law enforcement K-9’s within the City of Gainesville. 

During their meeting, Sheriff Watson was notified by Chief Scott and City Manager Curry that the Gainesville Police Department will continue operation of their law enforcement K-9 program in a “limited capacity” and with newly established guidelines that will require the approval of the Gainesville Police Department Chief of Police prior to the deployment of a GPD K-9. Based upon the current staffing levels of the Gainesville Police Department K-9 Unit, a formal request was made by Chief Scott and City Manager Curry to Sheriff Watson, asking that the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office assist with providing an ASO K-9 in the event that a GPD K-9 is unavailable. An additional request was made that Sheriff Watson make his Special Operations Staff, specifically the K-9 Unit, available to the Gainesville Police Department for specialized training of their K-9 handlers as well as the K-9 itself. 

Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr. and Gainesville Police Department Chief Lonnie Scott are pleased to announce that they have come to an agreement in partnership and support of their common interest for the safety of the community, as well as the safety of the law enforcement professionals that they serve. 

Effective immediately, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will assist the Gainesville Police Department, as it pertains to the use of law enforcement K-9s, by aiding in any incident that falls within ASO policy and procedures related to the deployment of a K-9 and upon the request of the Gainesville Police Department Chief of Police or his designee.  

Sheriff Watson and Chief Scott remain committed to the safety of the citizens, the safety of their law enforcement personnel, and the safety of the communities in which they both serve. 

    • I spoke too soon, before reading the article. The effing Gainesville city manager is putting it on ($$$$$$$$) the Sheriff department.

      • Why even have a city commission and manager, etc….let’s just have a large County contingency that we all vote on…especially with the state the city commission is in now. What a mess!

  • Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. is out to serve himself and his own ego, and that’s it. In just two years, more than 300 of the 1,000 people who work at the agency have left due to his complete lack of leadership and the dysfunctional environment created by him and the lackeys he promoted/hired because they pretend to love him as much as he loves himself.

    The longer he is in place, the more damage he does.

    • A true narcissist. If he feels he isn’t getting “likes” from you in one form or another you are history.

  • I’m glad they came to this agreement! We need K-9s. They help make apprehensions quickly. It is a shame some subjects chose to run from law enforcement and then fight the K-9 deputy when discovered! The K-9 are trained to defend themselves. Do not blame the K-9 for actions of the subjects. If they didn’t run, them the K-9 would be out of work! The deputy dogs help find missing persons and find weapons and drugs tossed by subjects. They keep our children safe by doing so. Hooray for our K-9 force.

  • Will the county or city be paying for use of the K9 units? Is the city going to reimburse the county for using them ? If not, why should tax payers in the county be paying for services the city is using because they don’t have the funds? Moved out of the city because of their wasteful spending.

  • Nothing new here folks. Been a mutual aid deal since the 80’s. GPD will ask ASO if they have a dog available, ASO will say negative, (all off duty or in training.) Don’t let them think they have re-invented the wheel.

  • …it says : the k9 officer has to get “approval from the Chief before they can deploy their k9”.—That’s total BS. Do officers need the Chiefs approval before they deploy their taser or gun? This is emasculating to the K-9 unit.

  • I’m soooo glad that GPD is so danged concerned about local criminals. Whew, that’s a weight off my mind that they’ll have to get “command approval” to use a K-9 which gives the criminal a fair chance to escape while the police sit around and wait for approval to do their job. Gotta give those criminals a break, wouldn’t want a police dog to hurt one of the dainty creatures now would we?

    Frankly, I don’t care that a criminal lost an eye, it’s far better than a cop losing his life. And now, after basically shutting down GPD’s K-9 units they have the nerve to want to “borrow” ASO’s? This is one of the stupidest things G’ville has ever done and that’s saying something.

    • What if there’s a lost child? A murderer on the loose? An Alzheimer’s person lost near a lake? There’s no time to waste!!!
      Curry is an idiot. This is no way to
      Run a city when time is of the essence.

  • Don’t put all this on Curry, although she is as spinless as the commission. She is there because Mayor Ward and his henchpersons are afraid to let the police have a very basic tool. Just like he replaced the aviation unit with childrens drones.

    • Curry is not qualified to run the city. We got a problem with vagrants, panhandlers, crime & violence and it’s her job to run the city. She’s the boss. She’s the boss of GPD. This commission has made many poor decisions placing the city in debt and now this regarding the deployment of k9’s. Police is an essential service…they keep the city safe when we’re asleep. K9’s
      Are an essential tool in law enforcement…they are used for tracking and bomb sniffing, they are used in personal defense. I think we need to ask the Governor to replace her. This is not sound thinking limiting law enforcements tools. I know Tallahassee wants the city to make cuts to pay for some of its debt….including appointing new commissioners if they don’t try…they are still acting stupid. Governor Desantis, come in and appoint new commissioners and city manager now…we can’t wait until October.
      We need our K9’s deployed when needed with no hesitations to protect and serve the public and to help fight crime.

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