POTEAU (KFSM) - There's a new officer on the force at a local police department. While the new co - worker might not carry a gun, the police chief said this officer is a very valuable addition to the team.
Officers have been getting to know the new K9 officer who is specially trained to get narcotics off the street.
His name is Sumo. He is 23 months old and is the newest member of the Poteau Police Department. For the past six months, he has been in Kansas learning what it takes to be a K9 officer out on the streets. "We do everything in training such as narcotics dectection," said K9 handler Jerimy Emmert.
He will be working with Emmert through the week. Sumo's job is to reduce the man hours needed for searching.
Everyday Sumo will come in dressed to go to work in his special K9 vest. "We use it for tracking in the patrol work," said Emmert. After Sumo's work is done, like every other dog, he gets a treat. According to Emmert, "At home is his down time just like anybody else."
Emmert said there has to be a very strong bond between the handler and the K9. "They have to trust the handler just like we have to trust them," said Emmert.
Officers said it's been 20 years since they've had a K9 officer on the force. They are happy to call Sumo part of the team.
Sumo costs $14,000 and the funding came from the Reid famiy through Community State Bank in Poteau.