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New K-9 deputy sworn in at Sheriff’s Golf Tournament

This past Saturday the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office hosted a Golf Tournament at Cherokee Rose Country Club to benefit their Project Lifesaver Program.

Project Lifesaver is a program designed to track those with cognitive disorders such as, Alzheimer’s and autism if they wander away from their home, family or friends. Clients of Project Lifesaver wear a tracking device which looks like a watch. If they wander off the device is activated allowing officers to track these individuals and bring them back home safely.

The tournament also provided Sheriff Sikes the opportunity of introducing and swearing in his new deputy, Charlie, the department’s new bloodhound. Unlike other K-9 officers, one of Charlie’s main functions will be to assist with Project Lifesaver and track down, through the use of scent, anyone who goes missing.

Charlie is from a special line of dogs bred in Kentucky, which can pick up the scent of any individual, even if the scent is 10 years old. Charlie was trained in Tallahassee, Fla., under the guidance of a former forensic expert.

According to Charlie’s handler LCSO Captain Lonnie Bowman, the newly deputized dog, who has been with the county for only a few short weeks, has already contributed to the community by assisting the department in finding one person who wandered off. 

Bowman said the dog has also made his first arrest. On Thursday, July 11, Liberty County Deputies were called to assist the Hinesville Police Department in the vicinity of Briarwood Circle near Airport Rd. HPD officers were in pursuit of Jaquay Rackwon Smith, a suspect in several Hinesville area robberies who also had several outstanding warrants for numerous other crimes.

Bowman and his bloodhound Charlie arrived and in a relatively short time Charlie located Smith hiding behind a house. Smith was taken into custody without incident. 

LCSO Sgt. Christina Tuten said the winning golf tournament team was Steven Moore, Johnathan Pirkle, Robert Darby and Eddie Carr. She said the tournament was possible due to their title sponsors Newbridge Residential Parks, LLC and Tri-County Bonding as well as several other sponsors who provided funds, gifts, prizes and food for the event.

The money from the event will go towards covering the cost of acquiring Charlie, $15,000, as well as benefitting the Department’s Project Lifesaver program.

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