The daily grind for law enforcement officers can be a difficult job, especially in 2017 America. Every few weeks there seems to be a new story on the news attacking these brave men and women and as a result, public opinion of officers can drop across the nation. However, here in La- Grange and Troup County, our law enforcement has worked hard to craft a relationship with the community in various ways. Through different events, get-togethers, and community functions, our officers go out of their way to be one with the community. One such event happened this past Saturday, June 17th when the K9 unit at LPD descended upon the Sweetland Amphitheater for their second annual Paw Day event.
Paw Day, now in its second year, has become great success and draws many people from all over the community. The hill at Sweetland was packed with people and events. There was a dunking booths where kids could dunk an officer, KonaIcewasonhand, booths and picture cut outs adorned the great lawn, and the Human Society was even out finding some of their animals some forever homes. Parents and their children were out not only to have a fun time on a Saturday morning, but to also learn about all the things that the K9 unit does throughout the year. After some mingling, the main presentation began on the stage.
Officer Wendy Bryant, one of the K9 officers, put together this event for the community and served as that mornings MC. After a welcome from Chief of Police Lou Dekmar, the presentation was under way. Bryant introduced the stars of that days show, the four K9s. Andy, Dax, Rik, and Chico are the four dogs currently working for LPD. The dogs were walked through a series of demonstrations including drug sniffing, attacking a suspect, and obedience. These dogs are certified in several narcotics and are put through many different certifications. The point was stressed that while yes, taking down criminals is a huge part of their job, these dogs are capable of many other things, such as locating lost people and things of that nature. The kids in the crowd loved the dogs performance and were able to take photos with them after the show.
These types of events are always a great boom for the community. Whereas all across the nation officers are being accused and receive much scrutiny, here in LaGrange our officers go out of their way to make connections with those that live and work here. Paw Day is a great way to let children and parents alike to get close to these K9s and their officers and aside from being cute and being able to pet them, they learn some of the duties that these animals go thru on a regular basis. Hopefully the tradition of Paw Day will continue to last for many years to come.