(ST. JOSEPH, MO.) There's a brand new K9 unit recruit for The St. Joseph Police Department and The Buchanan County Sheriffs Department.
Thazer, a 22-month-old Dutch Shepard, made his debut with his K9 handler Officer Dillon Powell to the community Wednesday at Family Center Farm and Home.
"I've been wanting to do this since I was a young child and I've always loved dogs. Right when I picked him out, me and him clicked from day one," Officer Powell said.
Although Thazer may be fresh out of training for six weeks in Indiana, Officer Powell says the K9's bring a variety of critical skills to the police force on day one on the job.
"He's a dual-purpose dog so he's trained in narcotics and then also patrol duties, tracking apprehension and overall officer safety. Just like any other unit we're here to help and serve the public as best as we can. He's ready to get out and meet new people and have a good time but yet he's still a working dog and that's what he's there for," Officer Powell said.
Additionally, besides Thazer there are currently no other K9's working for local law enforcement but according to Officer Powell that will change in 2018, with two more K9's joining the force and working hard every single day.
"We patrol every day of the week, we can get called out by any other shift so we can go out and assist them as well so they are out pretty frequently," Officer Powell said. "He's 22-months-old and strong as ever and ready to go."
Thazer's first day on the job was Tuesday night, December 19.