Greensboro Police Department’s new bloodhound puppy gets a name

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Drum roll…. the Greensboro Police Department’s new bloodhound puppy has a name: Sully.

Members of the public were asked to help the Greensboro Police Department name its new puppy through an online survey and in-person votes at the ‘Fun Fourth’ event. After 2,167 votes submitted on the four possible choices, Sully won with 39 percent of the votes.

“We appreciate the community getting so involved in the naming of the bloodhound,” said Chief Wayne Scott.  “We can’t wait for her to complete her training to fully join the force.”

The name Sully is in honor of Mary Sullivan, the first female homicide detective in 1918. She went undercover regularly for the homicide squad, and even spent weeks in the Harlem Prison in the guise of a prisoner to crack a murder case. In 1926, she became the first Director of Policewomen in the nation. She abolished the title “police matron” for female police officers, and ensured female law enforcement  officers would receive the same pay as patrolmen.

The 11-week-old purebred bloodhound puppy was donated to GPD by Officer Tammy Bybee, a patrol officer with the Duck, N.C., Police Department.

Sully’s handler and trainer, Officer Kenny Jones, is an 18-year veteran of GPD who has been handling K9 since 2010.  Sully is Officer Jone’s second bloodhound and she will begin training by getting used to her harness and riding in an SUV, getting to know her handler, and working around other dogs and people.

Next, she will begin training in earnest as a search and rescue K9. Although it looks like games of “hide and seek”, the puppy is actually learning the rudimentary aspects of looking for people after being exposed to their scents. Each time she successfully finds a person, she will be rewarded with a food treat – thus, reinforcing the behavior. As the pup matures and becomes more proficient in finding people, she will transition to searching by following the trail left by a scent source. All of this training should take about four months.

In November, Sully and Jones will test their proficiency at a week-long seminar held by the National Police Bloodhound Association in Matthews, N.C. The team will be evaluated on its ability to find people through real-life scenarios that vary in the distance of search, age of the scent, and the number of people to be located. If the team meets the criteria established by NPBA, it will be certified to perform official police search and rescue operations.