• 61°

Greenville Police schedule training for tracking canine  

After multiple setbacks, the Greenville Police Department has finally set a date for the department to receive narcotics and tracking canine training.

According to Greenville Police Chief Justin Lovvorn, the most significant set of setbacks resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had, in the budget last year, the budget to get a police canine for narcotics detection,” Chief Lovvorn said. “But because of Covid issues, the uncertainty of a few other things, and them not doing the class, we have had to put that off. We tried to do it again this year and ran into more Covid issues through the trainer that was going to put this on.”

Chief Lovvorn said that the time is finally right to have one of their officers certified despite the setbacks.

“One of our officers, William Vanfossen, is getting ready to do a five-week training course with the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officers Training Center in Tuscaloosa starting September 13,” Chief Lovvorn said. “I found they are the best ones to do this with because they certify you to do stuff with narcotics and drug detection dogs nationwide as opposed to statewide. Once we get our guy certified, they would be able to assist with anything nationwide if necessary.”

The Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officers Training Center will provide Vanfossen a dog to handle throughout and after completing his training.

Although the department will only receive one tracking dog, Chief Lovvorn said the reward is well worth it.

“Instead of calling the prison system to get their tracking dogs up here and wait for a long time, having an officer with this training will allow us to have someone here that can be on location in a few minutes and start tracking right away,” Chief Lovvorn said. “Ultimately, this would allow Greenville Police to speed up the process of tracking down criminals.”