STATE FIRE MARSHAL K-9 OFFICER RETIRING TO LIFE AS SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT STATION MASCOT
She isn’t doggone tired yet, but Savannah is retiring after serving eight years as the State Fire Marshal’s Office K-9 accelerant detective for the Northwest Florida region.
She will live in the lap of luxury – at least as she sees it. The yellow Labrador Retriever will become the mascot for South Walton Fire District Station #2. She will go to work daily with Chief Les Hallman and hang out around the fire house to greet visitors.
“She has been invaluable in finding accelerants and helping detectives solve cases,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher. “She has also taught hundreds of school children arson awareness through demonstrations at local schools.”
Since August 1998, Savannah has been a certified officer with the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, the law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Her nose has proved very accurate, with over 80 percent of her findings confirmed.
Savannah and her handler, Detective Tommy Barron, are credited with working more than 500 cases, including some high-profile homicide cases. In one case, Savannah was able to track an arsonist’s gasoline-tainted footprints away from the damaged home and down the street to the getaway car.
“Savannah has a very outgoing personality and loves being around people and interacting with children,” Barron said. “I believe she has worked with every detective in this region.”
Savannah has already helped train her replacement, Amy, right, who was introduced at the retirement party.
Savannah, below, happily enjoys her retirement bone.