While the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the temporary closure of Goodwill Manasota's stores and offices, its Corporate Campus was instrumental in a recent law enforcement exercise. The facility played host to a group of officers and service dogs from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit to train the dogs to sniff out “drugs” and “bombs.”
Canines are used in law enforcement for searching wanted or fleeing suspects; apprehending fleeing suspects; crowd control; and public relations demonstrations for local schools and community organizations. The K-9's and their handlers receive intensive training to become certified to perform their assigned duties. Canines are also assigned to narcotics detection. Prior to being put into service, canines used for narcotics detection are trained and certified in locating hidden quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
For the recent exercise at Goodwill, officers planted the smell of drugs and bombs within the facility, waiting 30 minutes, and then sent the canines in to find the location of each.
"While we may prefer to be able to operate our organization as usual, we were happy to be able to provide a place for the critical training of our dedicated Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit," said Goodwill Manasota president & CEO, Bob Rosinsky. "It is our pleasure to offer this vital service to those who serve our community so well."
PHOTO ID: Participating in the K-9 Unit training were (from l-r) Deputy Jerod Wolfe with K-9 Ron, Deputy Michael Gerholdt with Diesel, Officer Brandon Smolarz with Drax, Deputy A. Taylor with Murray, and Deputy Keith Sutton with Phantom
About Goodwill Manasota Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.