WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The White County Sheriff's Office is seeing big success with three furry additions to the force.
K9 Niro works hard for tennis balls.
"If he finds a suspect, then he gets a tennis ball," said White County Sheriff's Deputy Matt White. "If he alerts on narcotics, then he gets rewarded with a tennis ball."
He's been getting a lot of them since starting his job with the office in June.
"Their nose is amazing," said White. "Their athletic ability, amazing. Even going through training with him, I've learned things that I can do with a K9 that I didn't even know we could do."
Don't let his playful demeanor fool you. When it comes to doing his job, Niro means business.
"There are a lot of drugs that would still be on the street if it wasn't for the tools that we were given by the community," said White.
Niro is one of three K9's added to the force this summer. So far, Niro and his fellow K9 Officers Storm and John, are earning their keep.
Since June, the K9 officers have helped make 44 arrests, 28 of those were drug related.
"Without Niro, there's no way that would have happened," said White.
Sheriff Bill Brooks reinstated the program after the department went more than a year and a half without a K9 Officer. He said based on the numbers, the decision is paying off.
"We actually had an arrest because the dog showed up," said Brooks. "He barked, and the guy gave up. He was held up in a house. So they're the heroes."
Heroes that are protecting and serving, one tennis ball at a time.
"There's not very many careers that you can do where you can say. 'Hey, I get to work with a dog everyday.' It's awesome." said White.
Sheriff Brooks said based on the success of the program so far, he thinks the program will continue to grow. That could mean the addition of more K9 officers in the future.