February 24, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Suwannee Co. -- Florida Department of Corrections canine tracking teams from Hamilton and Suwannee CI successfully captured a fleeing suspect on February 22, 2011 in Live Oak, Florida. Suwannee County Sheriff’s Department requested their assistance due to a Burglary in Process. Multiple suspects had fled on foot. One suspect was captured and was taken into custody by the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office for questioning.
The officers involved in the capture from Hamilton CI are Sgt. Stanley Cribbs, Sgt. William Billingsley and Officer Steve Folsom, along with K-9 Cooper. The Suwannee Officers included Sergeant John Morris and Officers Jeremiah Carter and Maurice Burnham, and K-9’s Witty and Pistol.
Hamilton CI’s Acting Warden Greg Archie said “We are extremely proud of the job that our canine unit does for the community and residing communities. These dedicated officers put their lives on the line every time that they are called out for assistance.”
There are 37 canine teams located at prisons throughout Florida, who are on call 24 hours a day to respond to local law enforcements’ requests for assistance in locating individuals. Last year alone, the DC’s bloodhounds were called to assist sheriff’s offices, police departments, the Florida Highway Patrol and others in need 611 times – averaging close to two calls per day.
The original purpose of the DC’s Canine Tracking Teams was to track (via scent) escaped inmates, but with fewer and fewer escapes occurring (there have been no escapes from a secure perimeter since 2006) their services are now being used more often by local law enforcement who don’t have K-9 units of their own, or who need additional K-9s to assist their teams. The dogs live in kennels on the prison grounds, and most are bloodhounds except for a few beagles.
For more information, contact Department of Corrections Information Director Gretl Plessinger at (850) 488-0420.