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Red Bay police retire K-9 Unix

The City of Red Bay and the Red Bay Police Department held a reception at Red Bay City Hall Monday to honor German Shepherd K-9 Unix – born April 4, 2006, in Hungary – and his handler, Lt. Scottie Belue, on the occasion of Unix’s retirement.

In order to qualify to a be a police dog, Unix first had to undergo rigorous training and certifications. He graduated from the K-9 Police Academy in September 2010.

Belue said the help Unix provided over the course of his 10 years of service was invaluable.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve and work beside the best partner a law enforcement officer could work with, K-9 Unix,” Belue wrote in a letter honoring his partner’s retirement. “He has assisted in the apprehension of fleeing suspects, lost person call-outs and seizure of property used to transport illegal drugs and alerted law enforcement to many pounds of narcotics in Franklin County, Red Bay and the state of Mississippi along with neighboring counties in Alabama.”

Belue said Unix, whose full name is Unix Vom Geflugelhof Witz, had already completed about 80 percent of his training when the K-9 began his five weeks of training with Belue.

He was trained as a dual-purpose police dog – to do tracking/apprehension and detection of narcotics. Belue said Unix has loved tracking. He noted dogs can smell each ingredient of a substance separately, which makes them especially helpful for such endeavors as locating drugs.

Unix is a passive alert dog: He communicates discoveries by such means as sitting and staring and by pulling on his leash. Belue said Unix being trained to use this more discrete method of communication often proved useful.

According to his service record, some of the work/detection activity for Unix includes helping to detect heroin, cocaine, opioids, methamphetamine, marijuana, synthetic marijuana and prescription medication. He has also helped in the tracking and location of lost persons and crime suspects. Belue said the biggest K-9 meth bust in Franklin County was thanks to Unix.

“Unix has been an outstanding K-9,” said Red Bay Chief of Police Janna Jackson. “He has done an excellent job. Lt. Scottie Belue has done an outstanding job with his training and handling.”

The Red Bay Police Department obtained Unix by means of federal grant money through Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office.

Now that he is retired, Unix has been officially authorized to stay with Belue – his long-time partner/handler – and his family. “He loves kids and family and swimming. Unix will continue to be well-loved and cared for,” Belue said.

New K-9 Dagger, also a German Shepherd, is already in service at the Red Bay Police Department.