Police officers from across the south come to Wiregrass for S.K.I.D.D.S. training

S.K.I.D.D.S. stands for for SWATs and K9s Interacting During Deployment.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:39 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -SWAT officers and K9 handlers, along with their K9s, from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee gathered at the Wiregrass Public Safety Center to undergo S.K.I.D.D.S. training.

S.K.I.D.D.S. stands for for SWATs and K9s Interacting During Deployment. The class teaches the dogs to work with Swat teams.

K9 Commander and Trainer, W. E. Wozniak said, “The dog’s capabilities with all of their sense hearing, seeing, all that stuff is a million times better than ours, and then with SRT’s and their specialized training, having a dog there, just makes it that much safer for them.”

The dogs and their handlers learn how to respond to emergency situations like a barricaded suspect. Wozniak said that the dog is the one that is locating the suspect in that situation. They are able to give the team an idea of where the suspect is, so they can formulate the plan that’s needed to handle that situation.

K9′s like Neo and his handler Stephanie Lewis are also focusing on reducing any kind of reaction to gunfire.

“For most of us, this is a real basic course,” said Lewis. ”It helps us to kind of lay a foundation and take that back home and continue to train and develop off of that.”

While these dogs mean all business, Lewis said that the bond they share is personal. She even mentioned that as Neo’s “dog mom” it is exciting to watch him grow in training.

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