Bartow Police Department's first K-9 Unit was established in 1972 under the direction of Police Chief Marvin Pittman.
By 1973 the Unit had a total of three dogs, all had been donated. However, in 1976 the program was disbanded.
In 1994, a young patrol officer, with a desire to develop a productive K-9 Unit, trained and worked diligently, with his newly purchased four legged partner Nero, to re-establish this worthy program. That officer, Gerad Hunt, who is now a Sergeant, continues to be a strong advocate for the Bartow Police Department’s K-9 Unit.
In 2002, after eight (8) years of active duty, K-9 Nero retired from service. Shown here with Sgt. Hunt receiving recognition from Chief Eric Sandvik.
The K-9 teams are assigned to Patrol Division, These teams assist the Patrol Division with searching buildings, searching for lost or missing persons, evidence recovery, narcotic searches, and crowd control. In addition, K-9 teams are utilized as backup officers for officer safety.
OFFICER DAVID BILBREY
Officer Bilbrey began his career at Bartow Police Department in 2001 working as a Public Safety Aide. After working his way through Police Standards, he eventually become a sworn police officer, with hopes to one day be a K-9 Handler.After several years working in the Patrol Division, Detective Bureau, and Community Services Team, when a position opened up in the K-9 Unit he was excited to be selected to fill the position.
Officer Bilbrey and his partner Brody are currently assigned to the Patrol Division.
OFFICER ARTURO GONZALEZ
Officer Gonzalez began his career at Bartow Police Department in December 2012, and was selected as a K-9 Officer in 2015.
Officer Gonzales and his partner Rico are assigned to the Patrol Division.
OFFICER ADAM ANDERSON
Newest K-9 Officer, Adam Anderson, is currently in training with his new dog Falco
All four of the K-9 teams are available to perform public K-9 demonstrations for the citizens of Bartow. The Community Services Division handles the scheduling of the demonstrations upon request from the public. Demonstrations are provided to schools, day-care centers, civic groups, community events, holiday events, business promotions and churches. The K-9 teams average 25 to 35 demonstrations per year for the community.
Call 863-534-5034 or email Lyn Bryan, CST Coordinator to schedule K-9 Demonstrations.