Police officers work around the clock to protect our communities, but those officers are not alone. In fact, they are accompanied by a well-trained, furry friend.
"The K-9 unit is a support unit for the entire police department. We can assist patrol or detectives or a narcotics unit. The dogs do a multitude of things so we are able to help out the entire agency," Sgt. James Bradam with the Killeen Police Department K-9 Unit said.
The dogs are trained for weeks before hitting the streets to be able to accomplish many different tasks.
"Narcotics detection, we have dogs that are able to do explosives detection. In addition to that, they do patrol task which are tracking and trailing, they do building searches article searches which is where they can go out and use their nose to search for evidence," Sgt. Bradam said.
These dogs train for ten hours a week to be the best officers they can be, but not just any dog can be a part of the K-9 Unit.
"We do some tests looking for certain traits that I know are beneficial for a police-working dog," Bradam added.
And not just any officer can be a handler.
"We have a lot of control over our dogs," Officer Christopher Ache said.
And that control comes after weeks of training, but it's hard work that Officer Ache said is well worth it.
"My relationship with my dog is unbreakable," Officer Ache said. "Knowing I always have backup. If I get into a fight or something we have the ability to release the door with the push of a button so I always know I have backup there."
The Killeen Police Department's K-9 Unit is made up of five dogs, each one specific to a certain job which means no matter what the task is the K-9 unit is prepared.
These K-9 Officers come with a $12,000 price tag and officers who work with the dogs say they are worth every penny.
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