VIDEO: Wakulla County officer among statewide K9 Tracking Team Academy graduates

Correctional officers from Jefferson, Madison, Suwannee and Wakulla Counties graduated from K9 Tracking Team Academy Friday. They joined officers from across the state of Florida. The K9s they work with help find missing people and fugitives. Watch the video above to see one find ABC 27’s Ashley Engle who was on hand for the graduation and demonstration.


Its a training that many officers go through that could save a childs life or catch a fugitive. I’m Ashley Engle in the Perry neighborhood where many officers celebrated their completion of the K9 tracking academy. I spoke to one officer from Wakulla County who says he couldnt see himself doing anything else. All he wants to do is serve his community.

“I love what I do. I love being on K9. Its a job that correctional officer sergeant, Arthur Robinson from Wakulla County says, is a privilege to do daily. “I almost get emotional sometimes just thinking about just talking about K9, because I got the passion for it. My drive is high for it.”

Arthur and 26 others graduated from Florida Department of Corrections K9 Tracking Academy at Taylor Correctional Institution Friday. The academy was two weeks long.

“I did learn something at this academy, some stuff I did not know. Some ways to help people.”

It was two weeks that, correctional officer Clay Wimberley says, were life changing. Wimberley has been associated with K9s for 20 years. K9 tracking teams are used to help find inmates who escape prisons.

Nowadays with better technology, that doesn’t happen as often.

“K9s offer the most humane approach to tracking other human beings, because they are finding unique scent particles that are associated with each individual human like we each have a unique finger print we have a unique scent.”

Watch the moment K9 Turbo finds Ashley Engle during a demo before Friday’s graduation in Perry

the moment K9 Turbo finds Ashley Engle during a demo before Friday’s graduation in Perry

These K9 tracking teams also work to help neighborhoods by catching fugitives and finding missing children. I wanted to see how this works.

This is Turbo. The team told me to run into a field with some trees for Turbo to come and find me. Sure enough, Turbo passed the test.

“K9 handlers are very much hands-on, and they adopt these puppies as if they are their very own family members.”

This job can definitely save a life, but it’s a job that Arthur says you have to be a certain type of person to do. “You can’t just think about yourself. You’re thinking about the person next to you the person behind you, and you’re thinking about someones family that you’re possibly helping. Youve got to be a leader.

There were many officers who came to this academy who serve in Jefferson, Madison and Suwannee Counties to name a few. All of the officers are now going to take what they learned back to their institutions to keep you and your neighborhoods safe.

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