Alabama city welcomes home new K-9 unit after 15 years

Published 9:04 pm Saturday, February 19, 2022

The police department for a city in north-central Alabama is reestablishing its K-9 unit.

LaLa, a 4-year-old Dutch Shepherd, will be part of the Springville Police Department’s K-9 unit, which is returning after a 15-year hiatus. Chief Wayne Walton said the addition is long overdue.

LaLa will work with her partner and handler, Cpl. Brandon Keith, who’s been training with the dog since November. Keith said they knew instantly they were meant to be.

“She really kind of chose me at first. She came up to me,” Keith told WBRC-TV. “We kind of just bonded from there.”

The department upgraded its K-9 vehicle to ensure it would meet LaLa’s needs, especially in case of an emergency. That includes a temperature alarm that will turn on a siren and roll down the windows in case it is getting too hot inside the dog’s cage, Keith said.

Walton said the K-9 unit’s return was made possible because of the Springville City Council. The police department showed there was a need for the unit and the council agreed, he said.

“We got I-59 runs right through the middle of our city,” Walton said. “We’ve got 1, 2, 3 schools. That’s a good thing for us to have a K-9 to keep. There’s no tolerance for drugs here in Springville nor is it in St. Clair County. We have zero tolerance for it.”

LaLa and Keith are nationally certified and have already started working within the school system.

Springville is about 29 miles (47 kilometers) southwest of Birmingham.