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Snickers got his ride

Snickers got his truck video

Snickers tracking demo video

 
Deputy Snickers got a late Christmas present: a shiny new truck.

The truck for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office’s search-and-rescue bloodhound was unveiled at a Wednesday ceremony at the Floyd County Jail.

“We just wanted to make sure we had a ceremony to thank everyone involved,” said Sheriff Tim Burk halter. “Through donations, we were able to get a very nice truck for Snickers.”

The truck and its fixtures were paid for by donations from Heritage First Bank, Heritage Auto Group, State Mutual Insurance Company, Country Sportsman of Rome and Williams Communications.

The Nissan Titan 4X4 is outfitted with blue strobe lights and a toolbox. A steel box for Snickers that was in the truck Wednesday is a prototype that will be replaced, said the dog’s handler, Deputy Mike Williams, Snickers’ handler.

“The actual box for Snickers will match the tool box and should be here around Feb. 4,” Burkhalter explained.

The total cost of the truck was $27,000, all paid for by donations.

“We have used all the donations to buy and outfit the truck,” said Williams. “It is a very nice vehicle and it is perfect for Snickers.”

The heavy-duty 4-wheel-drive truck is a welcome addition to the agency’s fleet of vehicles, Burk halter said.

“We usually have to search in some very unappealing places. This is going to make it easier for us to get Snickers where he needs to be. Actually, sometimes I feel like I need that truck more than he does,” the sheriff said with a laugh.

The truck also comes with a winch attached to the front, in case there’s a need to get something out of a sticky situation.

“Somebody always gets stuck in these searches,” said Burkhalter. “We are also working on getting a camera for the truck.”

Snickers may need the truck for long-distance travel, because he has established a reputation for his ability to sniff out things, officials said.

“He was recently deployed to South Carolina to find someone,” said Burkhalter. “He’s getting a reputation outside of Floyd County as a champion search-and-rescue dog. He is always here if we need him.”

Snickers has become a real part of the family at the sheriff’s office, said Deputy Jimmy Allred, who handles Champ and Duke, the agency’s drug dogs.

“He is a great dog, and he and Mike make a great team,” Allred said. “It has been very impressive to see how they work together. We handlers work together with our dogs as a team and a handler has to have a lot of love for a dog and the dog has to love his handler.”

Burkhalter said the dogs are specially trained for the type of work they do, and adding Snickers to his crew has enhanced the agency’s effectiveness.

“When I would be out on searches before we got Snickers and I would see the search-and-rescue dogs coming, it was like seeing the cavalry come to the rescue,” he said.

 

 

Life Saver Award presented to Deputy Snickers and Deputy Mike Williams

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Award Video

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 11:20 am, Fri Nov 22, 2013.

IT IS NOT SO MUCH the nature of the world but rather that of too many of the occupants therein that “good news” gets less attention and smaller headlines than do matters that are negative. It is, as the saying goes, “the nature of the beast” that unfortunately signals that many of us must therefore be those “beasts.”

So, even though it may seem to some to have fairy-tale aspects, let’s for the next few items focus on the “beauty” that exists in the human-led efforts around us, just as the William S. Davies Homeless Shelter would similarly qualify as evidence of “our better natures.”

THE STATE RECENTLY DESIGNATED both Cave Spring Elementary and McHenry Primary as “High-Progress Schools” — meaning their students (and, of course, teaching staffs) were in the top 10 percent of those making the greatest progress/improvement among what are known as Title I schools. “Title I” is federal code for those in the attendance zone having high levels of poverty and social environment difficulties, or a combination thereof.

The honor — because that is what it is — does not reflect some one-year gain but rather a pattern of progress and high achievement in testing results that has gone on for at least three years. Beautiful! Because it proves that such is not just possible but also do-able in public education.

SHORTER UNIVERSITY KNOWS how to bring old computers back to life. It recently donated 21 computers that it had replaced with newer models to Rome’s Open Door Home so their usable elements could be recycled to upgrade the nonprofit’s even older machines.

For those who need reminding — and one hopes few do as Open Door is yet another of Greater Rome’s home-grown assistance efforts — the organization provides emergency and extended care to dependent, neglected and abused children from birth through the age of 18 throughout this region.

Beautiful! Because the computer donation is continuing evidence of how simply remembering others can help them, which is done a lot by businesses and organizations in this area but could be done even more.

DEPUTY SNICKERS, the new bloodhound of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, will be honored next Wednesday with a “life saver award” as he has already proven his worth by tracking and finding a lost elderly woman. Which, of course, was actually only doing the job for which this law-enforcement newcomer has been trained.

That job, by the way, needs to be made easier by supporting a fundraising effort to give him and his partner, Deputy Mike Williams, a “ride” of their own that can get to anywhere in a county with often rugged terrain. As some may have heard, funding for a full fleet of modern vehicles hasn’t been easy for the sheriff to find in this county of late.

This effort is beautiful as well, although one sometimes wonders if all in public-safety service need long floppy ears and a great nose to earn deserved attention to what they routinely do. But, like Snickers, do it is what they do.

One hopes generous residents help Snickers get his ride so he can always get to the scene of where he is needed as quickly as possible.

FAIRVIEW SCHOOL at Padlock Mountain near Cave Spring was, not all that long ago, more a memory than an actuality. Few knew what the abandoned derelict even had been — one of the first elementary schools for black students in rural areas when such were hard to find.

Now in the process of being restored by citizen activism through the Fairview-E.S. Brown Heritage Corp. — a nonprofit that needs support like so many in these parts — there are plans to use the former first-grade building as a living-history center and also turn the “footprint” of where the old main structure once stood into a gardening center for area students in the first phase of an envisioned science/tech/engineering/arts/math education program at the site to bring it back to life.

Beautiful! Turning history into something that also has a future has long been a way of thinking in this area and is always to be encouraged and supported.

 

Sheriff: Woman reported missing from Hall's Valley Road found

Lois Jean Holbrook is attended to by emergency personnel after being found about 150 yards from her home Monday afternoon. She had been missing for more than a day. (Contributed photo by Floyd County EMA)
Seven different law enforcement agencies aided in the search for an elderly Floyd County woman who was found Monday afternoon after she had been missing for more than a day.

Lois Jean Holbrook, 80, of 614 Hall Valley Road, was found approximately 150 yards from her home in an area of thick brush at around 3 p.m. Monday, according to Floyd County sheriff’s deputy Jerry Duke, a spokesman for the agency.

Snickers, the sheriff’s office K-9 unit, and his handler Deputy Mike Williams came upon Holbrook first while searching the area across the road from her home.

“They’ve recently come back from training school and were very successful during certification,” Duke said. “They put so much effort into training and it’s always good for something like this where there is a positive outcome.”

Holbrook was conscious when she was found and taken to Floyd Medical Center where she was in the hospital’s emergency room Monday evening.

Floyd County police spokesman Maj. Mark Wallace said she was suffering from hypothermia and was slightly incoherent when

she was found but there were no outward signs of physical trauma.

“It was a good showing of our local public safety community working together,” Wallace said.

Floyd County police, Georgia State Patrol, the sheriff’s department, and Rome police were on the scene, as well as the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency and Floyd County Sheriff’s Posse members.

Wallace said members of the Cherokee County, Ala., sheriff’s office provided assistance in their county since Holbrook lived so close to the state line.

Holbrook was reportedly last seen Sunday around 1 p.m., according to a call that was issued by Floyd County police Monday. It stated that she was in the early stages of dementia.

Searchers went out Monday morning and began looking for Holbrook in the area behind her house. It wasn’t until they turned their search to the area on the opposite side of the road that an initial sweep by Williams and Snickers led to her recovery.

Staff writer Nick Godfrey contributed to this report.

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The Floyd County police issued a Mattie’s call for a Lois Jean Holbrook, 80, of 614 Hall’s Valley Road, who was reported missing Sunday, Floyd County Police reported.

According to Lt. Amy Nails:

Holbrook was last seen around 1 p.m. Sunday. She is in the early stages of dementia and does not drive, so she likely left on foot. Floyd County Police, Georgia State Patrol, the Sheriff’s Department, and Rome City Police are all on the scene attempting to locate her. A canine has been brought in as well.

Holbrook was last seen wearing a pink shirt with a blue shirt with flowers on top of it. Those with information as to Holbrook's whereabouts are asked to contact 911 as soon as possible.

Nails said they also have called every residence in a seven-mile radius, as they would with a missing child. That is part of their protocol with someone with dementia.

 

 

   
 

 

After a five-day training seminar in Tallahassee, Fla., Deputy Snickers of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department is ready to nose out the bad guys and find lost children.

 

   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

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