Meet Maya: Newest K-9 member of the Swainsboro Police Department

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The Swainsboro Police Department, over the last couple of months, has re-developed its K-9 program. SPD has not had a dog on the department since 2002.

Maya, a Belgium malawa/shepard mix imported from the Netherlands, is the newest K-9 member of the department. Maya completed her intense training in the beginning of January and has passed all completed phases of testing in order to obtain national certification.

The training process is intense and begins with the officer making the proper dog selection from the beginning. The officer must select an animal that responds to his or her voice and time is spent uniting the officer with the animal before any training program begins.

Detective James Young was selected by the agency to become the handler for the new K-9 program. Det. Young traveled to various sites looking for the best K-9 training program to fit the agency’s need. After making several trips to various places, the agency selected the Custom Canine Unlimited group located in Flowery Branch as the company to purchase the animal from and conduct the training with the dog and handler.

This training consisted of long days and nights of repeated exercises on the various aspects of K-9 work.

K-9 Maya is a dual-purpose dog, which is trained in both drug detection and human tracking. A total of 240 hours of on-site training is required of the K-9 team in order to be ready for testing to achieve national certification.

The agency is proud of Detective Young for his dedication to completing this difficult training program.

In addition, the agency welcomes Maya to the department and is excited about the advantage gained from having a certified K-9 on board.

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