Drexel on the Road: Meet the Pensacola Police Department K-9 Unit

Drexel on the Road

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Some of the most important officers in law enforcement are the ones who chase the bad guys, help find the lost good guys, and are armed not with a gun or Taser, but with strong legs, a strong sense of smell, and loyalty to their humans. Drexel Gilbert is On the Road with the Pensacola Police Department’s K-9 unit.

Catching bad guys is something police officers are trained to do… including the four-legged ones. K9s come into the force at about a year old and are partnered with a human officer. Like the other partners, K-9s and their human partners train hard and develop a special bond. They are sometimes closer than human partners.

“We’re literally with them 24/7 They come to work with us. They come home with us. You really create a special bond that can’t really be recreated,” Officer Zachary Harris said.

And that bond is important, because sometimes these partners have to face down danger.

“I absolutely trust my life 100 percent with this dog. And I know he trusts his life with me,” Harris said.

They do more than chase bad guys. K-9s help officers find not just criminals but people who are missing, including children. They are good-will ambassadors for the force.

“We want to be able to go work on the street, catch a bad guy, then 20 minutes later go into a school, do a demo and let the kids pet these dogs,” Sgt. James Parsons said.

Officer Zachary Harris was recently named Officer of the Year for the Pensacola Police Department. There is a regional Police Canine Field Competition taking place in Pensacola today through next Thursday. View the schedule of those demonstrations, which are open to the public, below:

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