(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Mid-Buchanan Elementary first-graders got a furry surprise Thursday morning.
The students got a visit by "Shadow" and "Colby", two of the latest additions to the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department.
The first-graders were the first to meet the new K-9s because their class won a contest that gave Shadow his name. East-Buchanan Elementary students got to name Colby.
K-9 Handler, Deputy T. Vanmeter, said the K-9s are originally from Europe, and then trained for awhile in Indiana with their handlers before arriving in St. Joseph.
After the new pups passed their training, the four-legged deputies were able to greet the public. Vanmeter said this task helps foster a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community.
"[It's] important for especially our community to know because we're going to be involved, we're going to be out there working with them. They're going to see us, they'll know us. We want them to be friends with us, and we want them to know that the dogs are too," Vanmeter said.
The K-9s are given the same privileges as human deputies on the force. Vanmeter said the pups have already assisted in catching suspects with the department.