As school children returned to school in Marion County, FL, the sheriff’s office announced a new security measure for this year. Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods introduced Albi, a firearms detection dog that has now joined the School Resource Officer (SRO) Division.
Beginning this school year, the German Short-Haired Pointer becomes the county’s first firearms detection police canine. Albi and her handler, Cpl. Erik DeAngelis, will be patrolling local schools and school events. Albi is trained to detect firearms, ammunition, ammunition casings that have been fired, post-blast residue, smokeless powder, gun oils, and gun lubricants. The goal of this new team is to deter potential gun violence.
“With gun violence among our youth on the rise across this nation, my office, along with School Superintendent Dr. Diane Gullett and your Marion County School Board, want to lead the fight against these crimes here in Marion County,” says Woods. “As parents, we value our children more than anything else in our lives. As your sheriff, I am going to make every effort to protect them, and this is just one of our newest tools in that fight. By helping keep guns out of our schools, this dog will save lives.”
Woods warned any would-be perpetrator who thinks they want to bring a firearm to a school or a school function.
“Just remember, we will be there. Albi will be there. You will be caught, and you will be brought to justice,” Woods emphasizes.