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July 28, 2014

CLEBURNE COUNTY Police dog 'Addi' injured assisting in warrant roundup

Dog will need second visit to veterinarian

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Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:43 am | Updated: 5:39 pm, Wed Jun 25, 2014.

HEFLIN — A Heflin police dog was injured in the course of helping Cleburne County law enforcement agencies make 31 arrests in a warrant roundup Friday, officers said.

At a home in Fruithurst, officers were trying to serve a felony warrant for burglary when a woman at the home let two pit bull dogs out of the back door of the house and they attacked the police dog, Addi, said Lance Willingham, a Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office investigator.

Addi is trained to locate drugs and to help in apprehension, said Heflin police Chief A.J. Benefield. She was there to aid in catching any suspects who tried to run as officers served the warrants.

The woman could face charges stemming from the attack, Benefield said. The department will also try to get restitution for Addi’s veterinary bills, he said. The woman was not named in the burglary warrant and was not going to be arrested, Benefield said.

Addi received 17 staples in her hip and neck, he said. After another visit to the vet, Benefield said, he is hoping she will be back on duty next week.

Willingham said the roundup included 56 warrants from Heflin police and the Sheriff’s Office. Many of the warrants were products of narcotics investigations, Willingham said. Others included misdemeanor warrants for failure to pay child support, theft of property and violation of the Sex Offender Notification Act.

The department often saves warrants and serves them all at the same time to protect the confidentiality of sources during investigations, Willingham said. If the warrants were served right after the information was received, those arrested might be able to figure out where the information came from, he said.

It’s been about four years since the county did a warrant roundup like Friday’s, Willingham said.

The county had help from Clay County Drug Task Force and Oxford police, Willingham said.  

Willingham said officers started serving the warrants at 5:30 a.m. and finished at about 8 p.m. Friday.

Support for Addi

The Heflin Police Department is selling T-shirts reading “Keep Calm and Support K9 Addi” to raise funds for the K-9 Unit, said Heflin police Chief A. J. Benefield. Anyone wishing to order the shirts should contact Sgt. Kevin Turley at 256-463-8911. The shirts are $20 each and the money will be used to purchase equipment for the unit. The Heflin Police Department is selling T-shirts reading “Keep Calm and Support K9 Addi” to raise funds for the K-9 Unit, said Heflin police Chief A. J. Benefield. Anyone wishing to order the shirts should contact Sgt. Kevin Turley at 256-463-8911. The shirts are $20 each and the money will be used to purchase equipment for the unit.

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