YORK, SC (FOX 46) - When Officer Keith Johnson was interviewing for the job at the York Police Department, he made what some may view as a bit of an odd request. He asked if they could hire his partner Tigris too.
"A few months later we were on the streets, trying to take drugs off the streets and help build relationships with our community," Officer Keith Johnson said.
This is the first K-9 dog the York Police Department has had in over six years. According to officials, the cost of yearly training and equipment needed for a K-9 simply wasn't cost effective for the City but Officer Johnson already had the training done for Tigris, making it easy for her to join the force.
"She’s a great asset for all the officers and even other agencies. They have the ability to call us when they have deputies on the road on a stop and need a sniff," Johnson said.
K-9 Tigris is even lowering the need for man power.
"If we are on a scene and locating a weapon, you have to line up several guys to cover an area were myself and another officer can stand there and the dog can work the area until she alerts," Johnson said.
FOX 46 Charlotte put Tigris up to the challenge and tested her abilities. We first threw a knife in a field for her to search. It took her less than a minute to find it. Once she did, she laid down and touched it with her nose to let us know she located the knife.
We even hid a substance that mirrored the smell of cocaine but we couldn't fool her.
"I have to give it up to the Chief Robinson and Captain Trail. They've worked hard as well to get us going and we are going to do our very best. So we enjoy it and it's great to have a partner with you," Johnson said.