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One Sumter partners with Americus Police Department to provide K-9 Unit

AMERICUS —  Tuesday, March 6 served as a hallmark moment for the Americus Police Department (APD), as well as the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation. Police Chief Mark Scott unveiled the department’s new K-9 drug unit and announced Printavious Powall as the K-9 officer.
In 2017, One Sumter embarked on its final strategy for enhancing the image of Americus and Sumter County. Recognizing that safety, health and overall welfare of Sumter County residents is essential to the community’s growth, the One Sumter board of directors launched the One Sumter’s Crime Initiative as a pivotal component of One Sumter’s comprehensive economic development strategy. The initiative seeks to support local law enforcement officials and to address the safety and public welfare of residents, businesses and visitors to our community, in an effort to spur residential growth and economic vitality. In a response to stated needs of Sumter County’s law enforcement community, One Sumter committed to investing $45,000 towards the purchase of a K-9 drug and tracking search dog, related training for the K-9’s handler and assigned officer, and to fully equip the necessary patrol unit.
Chief Scott expressed his excitement of the new addition to the department and his gratitude for the partnership with One Sumter.
“We are looking forward to restarting the K-9 program at the Americus Police Department,” the chief said. “A K-9 team is an invaluable asset in both drug enforcement efforts and in tracking and locating fleeing fugitives.”
Chairman of the One Sumter board of directors, Alex Saratsiotis echoed the appreciation of the collaboration between One Sumter and local law enforcement officials as well as the importance of the Crime Initiative in the overall strategy.
“We are lucky to have such strong leadership guiding our public safety efforts, and we greatly appreciate what our entities are doing and will continue to do to make Americus and Sumter County a safe place to live,” Saratsiotis said. “We know that crime is one pf our number one ‘image issues,’ but it is also a reality for too many of our residents.”
Continuing, Saratsiotis said that having a safe community is essential to ensuring that all of the other efforts and priorities of One Sumter have the opportunity to reach their full impact potential. Without creating an environment in which business and industry want to grow and expand — and can expand — other initiatives, such as the college and career academy, will only have a limited impact on our expectations for economic growth in Sumter County.
“We want to send the message that Americus is a safe community, and that the business community supports your efforts and the efforts of all law enforcement officials in Sumter County,” Saratsiotis said.
As a part of the partnership, the Americus Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Kyler Crawford are donating one year of service and care for the K-9 at no cost to city.
The One Sumter Economic Development Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing economic development, community growth and workforce development in Sumter County.
For more information onthe Crime Initiative or other ongoing activities with One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, contact Mary Beth Bass at (229) 924-3042 or marybeth@onesumter.org.