Florence police officer bitten by retired K9 Titus

FLORENCE, Ala. - The Florence Police K9 which bit a woman outside her home in November, has also recently bitten a police officer.

K9 Titus has a new home for the time being. A kennel has been constructed on Florence Police Department property. Florence police removed him from service after an incident on November 11th. Investigators said he escaped an enclosure at his handler’s home and bit a neighboring woman.

Captain Mike Holt

“We take that extremely serious,” stated Captain Mike Holt. “It was investigated like anything else we investigate just to make sure we had all the facts.”

The victim, who’s name has not been released, has required numerous surgeries and rehab.

We are now learning there has been another incident involving K9 Titus. This one happened almost two months after he was taken out of service.

“We did have an incident on the second of January,” Holt explained. “One of our K9 officers was actually breaking up the water because it was so cold if you’ll remember, and Titus bit our handler in the arm.”

The K9 handler was rushed to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital with puncture wounds to her upper arm and forearm.

Captain Holt said they working to find a professional organization to give K9 Titus to. He says the 7-year-old dog has more years of service he can provide in the right environment.

According to Holt, the Florence Police Department K9 program has been evaluated since the first bite in November. Holt said numerous changes have been made to ensure nothing like these incidents happen again. All enclosures used for the K9’s have certain requirements and must be signed off on by the K9 supervisor.

As far as the K9 officer connected to the November incident, any disciplinary action would have been handled internally, and Florence Police will not comment on personnel matters.

The K9 officer bit in January is undergoing physical therapy. Florence Police Department leaders say they expect the officer to return to full duty as a K9 officer soon.