September 9, 2022
The Tallahassee Community College Florida Public Safety Institute (FPSI) is hosting the 15th annual Bloodhound Scent Tracking Seminar, September 11 through 16, 2022. The week-long training program draws teams from around the state and country. Thirty Bloodhound teams representing six states including Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas, are scheduled to attend. The teams represent law enforcement agencies, and civilian search and rescue (SAR) teams largely made up of volunteers. The participating bloodhound teams will also participate in the annual Florida Missing Children’s Day at the State Capitol on Monday, September 12.
The teams will train in the diverse 1,500-acre grounds of FPSI which includes thick wooded terrain, wetlands, streams, and bodies of water. The teams will also train in the former Gretna Elementary School site, thanks to Gadsden County and the City of Gretna, as well as the Florida State University Alumni Village. Volunteers from multiple states walk and run the many miles of harsh terrain, leaving their scents for the bloodhounds to track.
Bloodhounds are renowned for their keen tracking abilities and are bred to track human scent. The FPSI Bloodhound program began as a collaboration between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Jimmy Ryce Center, a nonprofit which has given hundreds of bloodhounds to law enforcement agencies around the country to find abducted and lost children. Approximately 13 of the participating bloodhounds were donated by the Jimmy Ryce Center.
The Florida Public Safety Institute was established in 2009 to train the best and brightest in public safety careers. FPSI is also represented on the statewide Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse Advisory Board (MEPICAD), led by FDLE.