Hartsville Police Dept. hosts Southern K-9 Conference
The Hartsville Police Department hosted the Southern K-9 Conference June 21-23. Hartsville Police Sgt. Kyle Hause, under direction of Chief of Police Jerry Thompson, worked to bring Jay Kerr with Makor K-9 of West Virginia to Hartsville for this conference. The Department has a long-standing relationship with Makor K-9 as three Department Labradors have been trained there. The conference consisted of training in odor work for explosives and narcotics, patrol scenarios, obedience, tracking, and decoy school. Kerr expressed the importance of training K-9s with effective decoys by saying, “If you don’t have a well-trained decoy, you won’t have a well-trained dog. The decoy is more than a person being bitten, it is the trainer.” Thirty-two handler and dog teams came from throughout South Carolina and as far as Denmark, California, Maine, and West Virginia. Instructors included participants from Germany, Sweden, Las Vegas Metro, and Makor K-9 staff from West Virginia. The Hartsville Police Department hopes to make the conference an annual event. The event was made possible with the help of local businesses and event venues. Brianna Douglas from Coker University provided the teams with full access to the campus, including use of lecture halls, the boathouse, and residence halls for accommodations. In addition, businesses supported this conference with promotions, extra hours, and special assistance. These businesses include: Block and Vino, Bow Thai, Crema, Griggs Circle Bakery, Hoof and Hound, Maxyne’s, Mr. B’s, New York by the Slice, Rooftop at the Mantissa, Sam Kendall’s, Vintage Craft Beer and Wine Boutique, Wild Heart Brewing, and Wingz and Ale.