Serving and protecting Henry County is the business of Officer Todd Powell and his K9 partner, Erin. Officer Powell has been in law enforcement in Henry County for 13 years and has been a member of the Henry County Police Department since July 2021. Officer Powell first met and began training with his K9 partner when she was just 14 months old.
Erin was born in Hungary nearly six years ago–even has a Hungarian passport-where she received special law enforcement training from birth. Erin is an Explosive Ordnance Detection K9 (EOD K9).“She is certified on 27 different odors,” explains Officer Powell. “Her skills enable her to detect explosive compounds, including ammunition and firearms.”Work days for Officer Powell and Erin may include investigating suspicious packages, making sure areas are safe after a bomb threat is received, or locating weapons used in a crime.
“Erin has located the murder weapon in six murders so far in her career,” says Officer Powell. Officer Powell and Erin are certified through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA). They frequently train with K9 teams throughout the state and respond to calls across Georgia. “Some of these are emergency situations, while others are more routine, such as sweeping the Israeli Embassy in Atlanta,” explains Officer Powell.
Among the highlights of the K9 team’s career has been working the Masters and an SEC Championship game. But Officer Powell says he and Erin’s top assignment was working alongside the FBI and Secret Service to ensure a venue was secure for a presidential candidate.
By Michelle Nunnally