Gainesville Police Advisory Council plans to revisit the future of K-9 Unit


The Policy Advisory Council of Gainesville met Wednesday night to discuss the future of the Gainesville Police Department K-9 Unit. 

It was held after the mauling of Terrell Bradley by a police dog in July 2022 and the reinstatement of the unit on Friday. 

“As the K-9 Unit returns to active duty, and I did not vote in a past meeting to abolish the unit, it is my hope and prayer that there be continued conversations about the unit, it’s operations and the need for careful deployment of the unit to avoid the circumstances that led to the loss of an eye of Terrell Bradley,” said Rev. Milford Griner, council member, prior to the meeting.

Griner’s comments were echoed by attendees. 

Danielle Chanzes, a local community organizer said she would strongly advise against hiring more officers for the K-9 unit.

“Not a single issue brought up at the community meeting back in November has been addressed,” she said. “There are serious problems with the culture of the K-9 Unit.” 

Kali Blount, a member of the council, suggested a new course of action. 

“The deck needs to be cleared,” said Blount. “If you won’t disband, make it functional,” she said. 

Blount suggested that police use dogs in the field that are “not made to hurt someone but to find them.” Blount said dogs with better noses and new officers on the team could benefit the unit. 

Corporal Joshua Meurer kneels next to his former canine. “There have been several resignations, including from Canine Officer Joshua Meurer, whose canine was actually responsible for the mauling of Terrell Bradley. In his resignation, he cited that Chief Lonnie Scott was not supportive of him,” said Danielle Chanzes, a local community organizer. (Courtesy of Gainesville Police Department)

Having already voted to keep the K-9 unit working, the council had planned to wait until May to meet again to discuss the future of the unit. 

Norbert Dunkel, chairman of the council, was in favor of the vote. 

“We need the city commission to provide any direction before we can have the formal report back on the K-9 Unit,” he said. “So we can’t even talk about it much until then.” 

Some council members and community attendees were concerned that critical things pertaining to the K-9 Unit would transpire before May and urged the meeting to be in March instead. 

Chanzes said she doesn’t think they should wait that long.

“Terrell Bradley was mauled in July… From July to May is ten months,” she said. “This is why people don’t like bureaucracy, things get caught up in red tape.”

After extensive discussion, Fareed Johnson, vice chairman of the council, moved forward with moving the K-9 Unit meeting from May to March. This action was voted on unanimously, officially moving the next meeting regarding GPD K-9 Unit’s new policies and procedures after their hiatus. 

Sheila Payne, a council member, said she thinks there should be a discussion in March without disbanding the unit. , 

“Are they still using them to go after people after traffic stops?” she said. “There are questions you can ask that don’t have to do with disbanding them.”

About Lindsey Sims

Lindsey is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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