Macon K9 officer facing complaint

The Macon police are investigating a complaint that alleges a police dog has threatened a Bibb County neighborhood.

Josephine Searcy, of Willowdale Drive, filed a report with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 16, saying that her next door neighbor is a Macon police canine officer and his German shepherd has gotten out of the officer’s fence on “numerous occasions,” displaying aggressive behavior.

Macon police Capt. Jimmy Barbee confirmed the police department is investigating a complaint filed with the internal affairs division.

The officer, Josh Sanderson, will remain on duty as the investigation is performed, he said.

While Barbee said he couldn’t discuss the details of the complaint, he did say Sanderson was not on duty at the time of the alleged incidents.

He said it’s unclear whether the dog involved is Sanderson’s duty K9 or another dog.

“That’s to be determined,” Barbee said.

In the sheriff’s office report, Searcy told deputies the dog was underneath her carport Aug. 30 when her daughter drove up in a car with her two children.

When the two teenage boys got out of the car, the dog allegedly approached them in an aggressive manner and they jumped onto the rear of the car. The dog jumped up in an attempt to bite one of the boys as he climbed onto the trunk, according to the report.

Searcy’s daughter told deputies she heard Sanderson give a command and the dog returned to his backyard.

He apologized and then returned home, according to the report.

On a separate occasion, the dog allegedly approached a 3-year-old while roaming the neighborhood. A petition has been signed by numerous neighbors in an attempt “to have something done about the animal,” according to the report.

Searcy said she’s called the sheriff’s office at least two or three other times since last summer about Sanderson’s dog.

The sheriff’s office said they’ve only received one complaint about the dog.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sean DeFoe said if they receive ongoing complaints, a deputy may write a leash law violation.

“We’re not going to treat him (Sanderson) any different than any other person,” he said.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.