From the Apopka Police Department
One of the Apopka Police Department’s (APD) dedicated volunteers, Geri Unrue, who is a member of the Apopka Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (ACPAAA), shared some special news with the department and the Apopka residents she serves.
Unrue said that last week she was notified by Onondaga County Sherriff Gene Conway (in the state of New York) about the naming one of their new K9’s after her son, Deputy Glenn Searles. This was the first time in the history of their department that such an honor would be given.
Deputy Searles tragically lost his life in 2003 when he was struck by an out-of-control vehicle along Route 481 while assisting a stranded motorist. Searles had served with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office for two years, and had previously served as an investigator with the Medical Examiner’s office. He was just 31 years old when he was killed in the line of duty.
Sheriff Conway shared a few words to mark this meaningful and historical day:
The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the latest addition to the department’s K9 unit and welcomes its newest four-legged Crime Fighter, with its unique name, to the Force.
K9 Searles, a 22-month-old male Dutch Shepherd mix from Hungary, was named in honor of fallen Sheriff’s Deputy Glenn Searles, whose watch ended nearly 18 years ago. K9 Searles will replace K9 Drago, who is set to retire in a few months after serving the community for the past 7 years.
K9 Searles will begin Patrol & Tracking school this week with his partner, Deputy Jeff Neal, who has been a K9 handler for the past 13 years. The school is instructed by Sergeant Craig Belcher and is held at the Sheriff’s Office K9 training facility in Camillus. Once graduated from Patrol & Tracking school, K9 Searles will receive additional training as an explosives detection canine.
While K9 Searles is the first canine with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office that has been named after one of its fallen members, he won’t be the last. The Sheriff’s Office plans to name their next canine after fallen deputy, David R. Clark.
APD and Apopka are glad that Deputy Searles’ legacy lives on.