Florence PD K-9 unit takes top honors in regional competition

Florence, Ala. – A member of the Florence Police Department has been named the best in the southeast region. He beat out dozens of others last week during trials – to get the distinction of being called “Top Dog”.

“We’ve been working for almost three-and-a-half years now as a K-9 handler and team. We train almost daily,” explained K-9 Officer Chris Woods with Florence Police Department.

And to watch it is nothing short of impressive. If Florence K-9 Officer Woods commands it, Oz does it without hesitation.

“It takes a lot of training with them so they know what to do and then convincing him on a daily basis to continue to do that. It’s just continually rewarding him, and he enjoys doing it,” said Woods of his partner.

Oz is a Belgian Malinois who is specifically trained for police work. His handler says he can track crime suspects and sniff out drugs.

During certification competition in Rome Georgia last week, Woods and Oz took “Top Dog” honors for Region 22 of the United States Police K-9 Association. Not an easy task according to Woods. They now turn their attention to the national competition in September.

“They are just a phenomenal group of K-9’s and handlers, and it is going to be very stiff competition yes sir. (You hope to win though?) Oh, absolutely,” stated Woods.  “I’m aiming for first.”

Woods and Oz will continue training during the day, and working their patrol shift at night to keep the streets of Florence safer.

The United States Police K-9 Association national competition will be held in Huntsville come September. We wish K-9 Officer Chris Woods and Oz the best.