Gainesville again pulls police K-9 unit 

City Manager Cynthia Curry
City Manager Cynthia Curry participates in a city commission meeting.
File photo by Seth Johnson

Two weeks after returning to regular duty, the K-9 squad at the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) will again leave regular service as the city reevaluates the unit amid community concern and financial scrutiny.  

City Manager Cynthia Curry announced that she decided to pull the K-9 unit on Friday and reassign the officers to address other GPD needs, according to a press release.  

“As always, public safety comes first,” Curry said in a statement. “I am not denying the usefulness of a well-coordinated K-9 Unit. However, based on recent information, this affords us the opportunity to reassess how best to serve our neighbors. We will involve the community going forward.” 

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The city release called the decision temporary and said it would reevaluate the K-9 squad’s place in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The city has started scrutinizing budgets across all departments after members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee demanded Gainesville crack down on debt.  

Curry’s decision is the latest turn in an eight-month saga involving GPD’s K-9 unit, which has included numerous probes, reviews and meetings. On July 10, Gainesville resident Terrell Bradley, 30, ran from officers during a traffic stop, which led officers to call for a K-9 unit. According to GPD, they did so after finding a stolen weapon and ammunition in the vehicle and discovering Bradley was a convicted felon. 

The responding K-9 later found Bradley hiding in some bushes and attacked him, resulting in the loss of his right eye, two broken fingers and spinal leakage. 

Amid protests and community outcry, GPD suspended Ranger, the K-9 involved in the incident. An independent investigation later found the K-9 unit followed protocol, but GPD still disciplined five officers for “improper behavior” during Bradley’s arrest.  

Last week, Bradley’s lawyer sent a letter to Curry seeking a settlement with the city to cover $250,000 in medical bills. 

GPD had put the K-9 unit on patrol duty in January, but Chief Lonnie Scott recently announced the squad returned to regular duty on Feb. 17. Curry, who went from interim to permanent city manager on Feb. 2, requested more information from GPD after Scott’s announcement, then decided to pull the squad again, according to the city’s Friday release.  

Besides the financial cost, community members continue to voice concerns about the squad and to call for its disbandment. A group met at City Hall on Wednesday to protest the unit following its return to service. 

Both the Police Advisory Council and Public Safety Committee plan to discuss the K-9 squad at their March meetings. The Public Safety Committee will meet on March 27. 

On Monday, Gainesville Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said the panel needs to dissect the K-9 squad and return to the entire commission with a recommendation.  

“I know that in our recent conversations regarding the K-9 unit that issue [transparency] came back around,” Duncan-Walker said. “So I am interested in having a conversation about what we might be able to do to give our neighbors and citizens of Gainesville the opportunity to engage with us about the issues that are happening in the community.” 

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Dean Murphy

As Gainesville becomes more crime ridden you want to hamstring law enforcement more ? Sickening!


Just like a good Socialist Democratic city, helping the CRIMINALS.


How about stop spending on homeless programs that don’t work, bike paths nobody uses, they like to ride in the road, green energy initiatives that are useless and unsustainable. If you break the law you deserve the consequences of running from the law. This city is on a huge decline thanks to the mismanagement by this commission.


I agree 100%. Let the police and their K9 partners do their job.
If you run you may suffer the consequences you deserve.