FLAGLER COUNTY – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC) Advisory Board selected a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) K-9 Unit to receive the K-9 Trailing Team of the Year award. Sergeant Fred Gimbel and K-9 Holmes will receive the award from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and FDLE Commissioner Richard Swearingen at the Florida Capitol on Monday, September 14, 2020.
“This is a tremendous level of recognition for such a young Bloodhound Team,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Sergeant Gimbel and K-9 Holmes make a great team and Sgt. Gimbel has put in so much effort to train Holmes in search and rescue. I am glad that all of Sergeant Gimbel’s efforts are being recognized!”
K-9 Holmes joined the FCSO in April of 2018 and began working with Sergeant Gimbel. The K-9 Unit made national news after FCSO requested the help of the community in naming the first bloodhound the Agency has had in decades. Sheriff Staly, Sgt. Gimbel and K-9 Holmes appeared on Fox35 Orlando and ClickOrlando News6 when Holmes was just a few weeks old. The community rallied together and chose the name Holmes, named after the fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes.
K-9 Holmes’ training was documented on the Agency’s Facebook videos through a serious called “Tracking Holmes” where viewers could watch his skills advance each week.
Since completing his training and being released to full-service, K-9 Holmes and Sgt. Gimbel have located several missing people in Flagler County and helped to bring them home safely. The K-9 Team has also utilized K-9 Holmes to sniff out criminals during foot pursuits over the past year. The great successes of this K-9 team over such a short period of time led to the nomination and subsequent winning of this well-deserved award. K-9 Holmes and Sgt. Gimbel’s most recent rescue was that of a missing endangered 13-year-old boy who was found in less than one hour on June 27, 2020.
The second Monday in September is designated as “Florida Missing Children’s Day” by Florida Legislature. The objective is to raise awareness of Florida’s currently missing children, educate the public on child safety and abduction prevention, and to recognize those individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the missing children issue. Find out more by visiting: http://www.fmcdf.org