The City of Laurens Police Department went sniffing around for a working partnership for its K9 Unit and found one nearby with Woodruff.
Laurens Police agreed to a “memorandum of understanding” with the Woodruff Police Department so that the two agency’s K9 Units can easily work and train together. Laurens Police currently has three K9 officers, and Woodruff Police has two.
“We look at it as a force multiplier, to use a military term,” said Laurens Police Chief Sonny Ledda. “As a small department, if we don’t have certain resources, we can borrow from another department and vice-versa.”
Detective Sgt. Doug Jones, the lead canine handler for Laurens Police, said the two departments already work together, and Jones worked with Woodruff’s K9 Unit before coming to Laurens.
“We train together now,” Jones said. “This is a way if we’re actually working with the dogs, executing a warrant or at a traffic stop, we can do it with no red tape involved. . . . We’re just able to work hand in hand if we wanted to do a checkpoint or something like that.”
Ledda said his department has similar working agreements or “MOUs” with other neighboring agencies, including the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Clinton Public Safety, which allows for cross-jurisdictional assistance.
But this is the first MOU primarily involving the K9 Unit.
“This is a case where both K9 Units are nationally certified, so this can help us,” Ledda said.
Laurens Police’s three-dog force currently includes two Belgian Mallinois (Anya and Brazo) and a Dutch Shepherd (Kia) with plans to add a fourth K9 Officer.