Country Band Florida Georgia Line Donates New K-9 to Indianapolis Police

By Wire Service

Grammy Award nominees Florida Georgia Line honored police before they took the stage in Indianapolis and presented them with a special gift—a new police dog.

The German shepherd was donated to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department ahead of the band headlining at the FGL Fest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.

“Thank you, Florida Georgia Line for IMPD’s newest K9 partner! #WeAreIMPD,” police posted on Facebook along with an image of the band with the dog.

Brian Kelley, one part of the duo Florida Georgia Line, first met the dog last year when the pup was just 10 weeks old. He named him Sarge.

He and his wife, Brittney, wanted to adopt Sarge and have the dog trained by Mike Sweeney, according to the band’s publicist, Sweet Talk PR. Soon they realized Sarge had special talents and would make a strong police dog.

“We are so excited that Sarge will live a life of keeping people and his officers safe,” Brian and Brittney Kelley said in a joint statement.

“Being able to give back is something in our hearts and last night in Indianapolis was a moment we won’t forget.”

The newest member of the IMPD will be used as an explosive detective dog and hasn’t yet been named by his new handlers, according to IMPD Sergeant Grace Sibley.

Training Dogs for Duty

Dogs can be affectionate, loyal pets but they are capable of more than playing fetch and enjoying belly rubs. Canines are invaluable partners for military and law enforcement when it comes to narcotics detection, explosive detection, and personal protection. One man has been training canines for the last 27 years, and it all started with his own childhood dog.

Jeffrey Scott Franklin is a 47-year-old United States Marine Corps veteran and retired police and SWAT officer from Virginia Beach, and has had an affection for dogs ever since he was a child. One of his teachers in school was a retired canine police officer, and would tell Franklin and the other students about his time on the job. Franklin harassed his teacher to bring his dog to school for about a year until he obliged.

The next step was to repeatedly ask his parents to get a dog, but they were concerned he wouldn’t take care of one and they didn’t want the additional responsibilities. Franklin cleverly waited until his father was out of town to isolate the other parent, a common tactic employed by children who want a dog and have unwilling parents.

Jeffrey Franklin with two of his dogs. Franklin began training canines professionally 27 years ago. (Courtesy of Joelle Speranza)

Consequently, he was able to convince his mother to let him take a dog whose owner didn’t want it anymore. Franklin took the dog, named Lady, and began studying at the library to learn how to train her. He then started training friends’ and neighbors’ dogs.

“She taught me that I didn’t know anything about dogs no matter what I thought I knew. I was lucky enough for me as teenager and growing up into a young adult that I got to do a lot of training with her and make a million mistakes, and she forgave me every time,” Franklin told The Epoch Times.

Epoch Times reporter Andrew Thomas contributed to this article.

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