Ashley Hunter: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Since March of 2016, the Madison Police Department (MPD) has undergone attempts to secure a narcotic dog for the department.
In the past, should the MPD need a dog for narcotic searches or for any other investigation, they had to depend on K-9 officers and K-9s from the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
However, the months of work paid off on Tuesday, July 26 when Lt. Whitfield traveled to Texas to pick up the MPD's first single-purpose narcotic search K-9.
Bolt is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah), a breed that is often confused with the German Shepard breed due to their many similarities. Belgian Malinois are mostly trained to be herding, police or protection dogs as well as family companions.
Bolt's handler will be Patrolman Anthony Land, which gives Land the role of the MPD's first K-9 officer.
Land is a Madison native who has worked with the MPD for seven years, the entirety of his law enforcement career. Since he was young, Land had wanted to go into law enforcement, and says that helping people and getting to know the public is what makes it all worthwhile.
“[I enjoy] the job itself, just getting to help people,” said Land.
Together, Bolt and Ptl. Land are just some of the ways that the MPD are looking to improve their outreach and abilities in securing a safer community for the people who live or work in the city of Madison.