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Unicoi Police welcomes new K-9 officer

Contributed Photo • Police Chief Slagle is shown with Gracie when she was a pup. The bloodhound is now a year old and eager to contribute to the workings of the Unicoi Police Department.

By Richard Rourk

The Unicoi Police Department has a new officer and she is digging at the opportunity to serve. 

Officer Gracie is the newest member of the Town of Unicoi Police Department. Gracie is a one-year-old bloodhound donated to the police department. 

“Gracie is going to be a great asset,” said Police Chief Andy Slagle. “A private citizen donated this puppy, and we have already started to do some training with her.”

The recruit will be a key member on searches in the future. 

“Bloodhounds are known for their tracking,” Slagle said. “Officer Gracie will help in searches throughout the region. She will be a search and rescue and tracking specialist. When she’s ready, she will be assisting in searches of people who may wander off or get lost on trails. We have a lot of calls in this area where people wander off in this region, so she will be a blessing in those cases.”

Slagle is no stranger to K-9 officers. “I worked with Officer Sadio, who is the Unicoi County Sheriff’s K-9,” Slagle said. “I’ve started doing some basic training with Officer Gracie and we will be doing more in the future.”

Officer Gracie was presented to the Town of Unicoi Police Department on Saturday, Sept. 4, during Unicoi Police Department’s 1st Annual Cookout with the Cops event. “It was a great event and we had a huge turnout,” Slagle said. “Without the citizens of Unicoi and Unicoi County, events like this wouldn’t be possible. We also have to thank  UC FRST, the Moose Lodge, the Elks Club, Maple Grove restaurant, and Walmart.”

For the latest updates on the Town of Unicoi Police Department and Officer Gracie, please follow the Town of Unicoi Police Department of social media.