LaGRANGE — The Troup County Sheriff’s Office and LaGrange police will split the cost of a new K9 to replace one used by the LaGrange Police Department that died earlier this month.
Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff made the announcement Tuesday during a regularly scheduled meeting of City Council.
“We were told of one of the K9s passing away at LaGrange Police Department, (Officer) Josh Clower’s dog, and they wanted to replace that dog,” Woodruff told Council. “I readily agreed to share in that expense, so the Troup County Sheriff’s Office wants to give y’all $5,000 toward the purchase of that K9.”
The announcement was followed by a standing ovation from council members and the audience.
The total cost of the new animal is expected to be around $10,000, Woodruff said, and the dog will be purchased from a K9 training outfit in Alabama.
The goodwill gesture comes as the two law enforcement agencies are working together more often, particularly in training exercises like the active-shooter training earlier this month.
Woodruff said the joint trainings and interagency cooperation makes area law enforcement more capable of responding quickly and smoothly to dangerous situations.
“It’s something I think we need in our community before tragedy strikes and we’re not prepared,” Woodruff said of the joint trainings.
LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar echoed Woodruff.
“It really is an understatement when the sheriff talks about the relationship that we have,” Dekmar said. “Anything that we’ve asked of the sheriff’s office, they’ve facilitated. I hope we’ve done the same. It’s made for an excellent team. Both the city and county communities have profited from that.”
The K9 will replace Deek, the K9 partner of Clower. The animal was euthanized Aug. 1 after significant health problems. Deek had been used for dual purposes, including tracking suspects and missing people, as well as drug interdiction.
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.