October 29, 2014
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Tallahassee, Fla. – The Department of Corrections (DOC) joined 10 other agencies in the search for a missing 8-year-old Baker County child with autism. Four DOC K-9 Units were dispatched to assist in the search, Baker Correctional Institution K-9 Unit, Reception Medical Center (RMC) K-9 Unit, Union Correctional Institution K-9 Unit and Hamilton Correctional Institution K-9 Unit. The child was successfully located last Monday.
The Baker Correctional Institution K-9 Unit and RMC K-9 Unit were activated to the search on Saturday and continued until the child was found. The Baker Correctional Institution K-9 Unit consisted of team members Lt. Tommy Benton, Sgt. Travis Harper, Officer Floyd Rhoden, Officer Jordan Baglin, Officer Joshua Whitehead and Officer Joseph B. Sanders and canines responding were Fancy, Suzie, LadyBug, Ginger, Lucky and Blackie. The RMC K-9 Unit consisted of team members: Sgt. Richard Shuler, Sgt. Weston Gaultney, Sgt. Shane Goldie, Officer Justin Moore, Officer Will Croft and canines Patriot, Willey and Lucy.
The Union Correctional Institution and Hamilton Correctional Institution K-9 units were activated to assist to the search on Sunday and continued until the child was found. The Union Correctional Institution K-9 team consisted of team members: Officer Daniel McGinley, Sgt. Daniel Klein, Officer Alfred Box and canines Raiford, Roxie and Hunter. The Hamilton Correctional K-9 Unit consisted of team members: Sgt. Jackie Morgan, Officer James Tolle, Officer Kelsey Tharp and canines Turbo and Roscoe.
The Department’s K-9 units are on call 24 hours a day in order to assist when emergency situations arise throughout the state.
“There is no greater joy than reuniting a child with their family,” Secretary Michael Crews said. “I am proud of our officers and K-9 units for their unyielding commitment to excellence. Our Department will continue to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of Florida families.”
The Florida Department of Corrections has 38 K-9 programs statewide which are used to support law enforcement agencies with felon apprehension, locating missing persons and locating and providing aid to persons in distress. In Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the Department’s K-9 tracking teams were deployed 710 times.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.