A new K-9 recruit will now serve and protect the Thomasville community. K-9 Koti replaces K-9 Kaiko, who retired and will spend the remainder of his days with his handler, Haley Groover, and family.
“We are elated to welcome K-9 Koti to the TPD family,” said Chief John Letteney. “I am assured that Police Officer Haley Groover and K-9 Koti will form a strong bond to support the team and serve our community well.”
Groover, a six-year veteran and first female k-9 handler of the TPD, is excited about the journey and relationship-building that lies ahead for the duo. “Koti is my second K-9, and I am his first handler. I am looking forward to working daily to strengthen our bond, and I am confident that he will go above and beyond to serve the citizens of Thomasville,” said Groover.
According to Major Shane Harris, K-9 Koti’s purchase was made possible through a $16,000 donation from the William Howard Flowers, Jr. Foundation Inc. “We are extremely grateful for the donation, which assisted with the costs associated with the purchase and training of Koti,” Harris said. “We are thankful to serve a community filled with partners that graciously show their support in a wide variety of ways.”
Koti comes to Thomasville from the Netherlands. He recently completed a rigorous six-week training course in Lexington, North Carolina with Officer Groover and is now ready to hit the streets of Thomasville! K-9 Koti is trained in tracking people, apprehension, narcotics search, and article searching (finding lost or dropped objects). He loves his toys and getting affection from Officer Groover.
The selection process included Groover visiting several K-9s based on TPD’s needs. Those K-9s were tested on sociability, apprehension work, and their reactions to different environments. The qualities that made Koti stand out were that he was very social and friendly, had strong apprehension skills, and was quick to adapt and overcome environmental changes that might be a challenge to most K-9s.
“Having been a K-9 handler for the last four plus years is by far the best job in law enforcement,” said Groover. “It has been the most rewarding opportunity that this agency could have given me. People love dogs, and even if they can’t pet Koti, a dog never fails to bring a smile to their faces. The bonus is that I get to bring one of my best friends with me, every day to work, and I’ll have a dynamic partner who is prepared to assist me while serving and protecting this wonderful community.”
For more information about Koti or the Thomasville Police Department, visit thomasvillepolicega.org.