The Valdosta Daily Times
Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress awarded a set of challenge coins Friday to 12 members of Moody Air Force Base’s security forces. The coin ceremony served as a thank-you from the Valdosta Police Department for the base’s operational support in handling bomb threats and helping in community matters.
On April 24, the Valdosta Police Department responded to a bomb threat at Valdosta High School while classes were in session, Childress said. The police department was tasked with scouring the massive school for explosives, after the school’s staff and students were evacuated, stated Childress.
“You want to get the facility searched as soon as possible and get the kids back to learning,” said Childress. “So when we got the report, we called Moody for support.”
Bomb-sniffing dogs generally grow weary of their work before their handler, so more canine noses were required to assist the police department’s dog in the sweep of the high school. The police department requested an explosive detection dog team from Moody and received 11 personnel and three dogs, said Childress.
“It just seems like every time we call for support from Moody Air Force Base’s security forces, they’re here,” said Childress. “And it’s not just the police department. It’s the entire city. And I think it’s safe for me to speak for Lowndes County in saying how important this base and these folks are to all of us. I don’t want to get emotional about it. But not only do we deploy them overseas to defend our country. When they’re here, they’re defending our local community. What I want to get across today is just how important Moody Air Force Base is to this community.”
After receiving their challenge coins, Capt. Keith Speers spoke on behalf of his team.
“For the group here, I echo your remarks, sir,” said Speers. “Your uniformed officers, non-uniformed officers, our folks and our 820th brothers all run toward gun fire and make order out of chaos. It’s an honor to work with you. Like you said, this goes beyond Valdosta proper. This is Moody at large in Valdosta and Lowndes County and we just appreciate it, sir. Thank you.”
Kahlil Andrew Furman-Berrian, 20, was arrested in connection to the April 24 bomb threat, according to reports.