Police K9s using church to complete drug training

K9 teams from across the region train in Statesboro church

BULLOCH COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - Four-legged officers help their partners arrest suspects and find drugs.

Those K9s must stay certified, which often means long trips and time off the streets. One department is helping agencies across our region save time and money by doing it in a fairly strange place.

You don’t think of finding drugs in a church nursery, but K9 teams from across the region are doing just that - finding drugs hidden by K9 instructors helping keep each team focused and certified.

One by one, K9s and handlers swept each room in one part of Crossroads Community Church in Statesboro. Dogs sniffed until they found a list of hidden drugs including marijuana, cocaine, meth, and heroin. This marks the third year local K9 teams and the Georgia Police K9 Foundation brought evaluators and hosted units from across Georgia and South Carolina. It saves them hours of driving to Atlanta or elsewhere to get tested.

“It saves travel expenses, room and board, meals,” said Cpl. Mark Guarino, Georgia K9 Foundation. “This way, we can get it kind of centralized.”

Holding this in a church may sound strange, but it gives testers a host of rooms and hallways to hide the drugs and check the dogs on their searching skills.

Organizers say their goal is to get teams there, get them evaluated, and get them home.

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