It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our loyal Officer and companion K9 Lieutenant Blaze. She was a longtime Veteran of the Rome-Floyd Special Operations Group, serving our region diligently as an Explosives Detection K9 for 8 years before recently retiring from service in 2023.

Blaze, a German Shorthaired Pointer, was born April 14, 2013, and was selected by the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) to receive specialized training in Explosives Detection. In 2015, Blaze was assigned to Floyd County
Police Handler Sergeant Matt Henry, who became her lifelong partner and friend. K9 Blaze was provided to our region by GEMA/HS in order to provide protection and assistance to all of the Northwest Georgia agencies and communities.

During her career K9 Blaze aided numerous departments including: Rome-Floyd S.W.A.T., Floyd County Police Department, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Rome City Police Department, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, GEMA/HS, Polk County Police Department, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, Rockmart Police Department, Chatsworth Police Department, Chattanooga Police Department, Richmond County Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Tech Police Department, Georgia Capital Police, U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Marshals Service. Blaze accumulated over 2,000 activations during her service to the Department.

K9 Blaze provided support and expertise to Bomb threats, Firearm searches, sterility sweeps, suspected or active devices as well as lending a paw to 6 presidential details, the Masters Tournament and Super Bowl LIII. Her love for work, when paired with her extensive skill set, made her extremely sought out by other agencies. In 2016, Blaze was the USPCA Top Dog in Explosives Detection. Additionally, she was featured in two American Kennel Club Magazines and part of a post-blast research article conducted by Kennesaw State.

Above all else, K9 Blaze provided happiness and joy to all those she worked with and met. She loved her job and, most of all, her family. K9 Blaze was able to enjoy her last year of life retired, living with her longtime partner Matt Henry and family. She would still visit her fellow coworkers from time to time bringing smiles wherever she went.

K9 Blaze will be missed dearly, holding a special place in our hearts for the happiness and safety she brought us. She will be remembered for the years of unwavering dedication and loyalty that she provided for our region and her family.