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GSP Police welcomes a new K-9 officer to the beat

GREER, S.C.—Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) has a new officer on its police force and passengers are invited to get to know him.

Alfred, a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, originally from the Czech Republic, is the airport’s K-9 officer. His primary job is to detect explosives, but he naturally attracts smiles and becomes a conversation piece for the officer handling him.Alfred1.jpg

“We are thrilled to have Alfred on our team,” said Bobby Welborn, GSP’s chief of police. “I appreciate GSP commissioners and executive staff for their commitment to the safety of GSP’s passengers and furthering the success of our K-9 program.”

Alfred came from FMK9 in Michigan, where he and his handler spent five weeks training together. The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District Police Department received partial funding from the Hyco Fund, based in Anderson, toward Alfred’s equipment needs, including his kennel and vehicle’s heat alarm system.

“K-9’s are a huge asset to every agency,” said Brittany Surratt, president of the Hyco K-9 Fund. “We understand that while an agency may be able to budget for the upkeep of a working dog; it’s usually harder to budget for the cost to get a new dog started with everything that is needed to maintain the K-9. The Hyco K-9 Fund is happy to assist with making sure every agency has the proper equipment for the K-9 to work and go home safely at the end of every shift.”

Jason Cordell, a GSP police officer, serves as Alfred’s handler.

“Working with Alfred daily and watching him progress and adapt to GSP is a rewarding experience,” Cordell said. “He possesses a valuable skill set.”

Alfred will turn 2 years old in October. He’s constantly honing his abilities to detect scents and spends up to two hours a day training. On his days off, he enjoys playing “two-ball” and tug of war with his handler at home.

GSP passengers interested in learning more about Alfred are encouraged to ask the airport’s police officers for a trading card with Alfred’s photo and biography.

While Alfred and his breed are known for being friendly and helpful, those encountering him at the airport are asked to remember that he’s an on-duty officer.  

“Our officers enjoy meeting and getting to know passengers,” Welborn said. “We know that Alfred will attract attention and we welcome the opportunity to talk about him and to answer questions, but it’s important to remember that he’s a working member of our department and we ask those encountering him not to pet him.”

Alfred is the fourth K-9 officer in the airport’s history. Amos and Tide retired. Emma passed away nearly four years ago during an accident.

Hyco Fund

The Hyco K-9 Fund is a 501c3 charity which was established to honor Anderson County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Hyco, who died while on duty in 2015. The nonprofit is focused on helping other K-9s remain safe, in turn keeping their human partners safe through financing advanced safety and training classes and/or safety and training equipment needed. To learn more about the Hyco K-9 Fund, volunteer, sponsor or help with any of their upcoming fundraisers visit www.hycok9fund.org, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Hycospage, or email brittany@hycok9fund.org or call Brittany Surratt at 864-245-0903 or Lisa Marie Carter at 864-356-9857.

About Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is conveniently located between Spartanburg and Greenville, along I-85. More than 2.1 million passengers per year are served by six major airlines offering 50-plus non-stop daily departures to 19 destinations around the United States. A connection in one of these cities makes access to the world easy from GSP. Learn more at gspairport.com.

Category: What's New