KINGMAN - The Kingman Police Department is adding a new officer to its force.
Sam, a Belgian Malinois and KPD's first K9, will make a public appearance during a special badge pinning ceremony at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
Sam and his handler, Officer Adam Parrott, passed their final certification last week on the heels of five weeks of rigorous training with the Arizona Department of Public Safety in Casa Grande.
Police Chief Robert DeVries said that Sam and Parrott have already developed a strong bond. Several officers applied to be K9 handlers, but it was Parrott's previous K9 experience in the military that pushed him over the top, DeVries said.
The dog, who was trained in Europe and responds to German commands, comes with a price tag of $12,000. That cost will be covered thanks to drug seizures by KPD's FLEX Squad, which will primarily use the narcotic-sniffing canine.
"He's got a strong drive," DeVries said of the dog's capabilities.
Parrot said Sam is a lot like him - a little goofy and hyper - but that when Sam's leather leash comes out, he knows its time to focus on work.
In addition to working alongside each other, Parrot and Sam will also live together. Sam will join a 5-year-old Rottweiler Parrot also owns.
DeVries said the additional officer duties don't come with raise, but Parrott will be reimbursed by the department for things like dog food and vet visits, which will also be covered out of the seizure fund.
KPD previously had to rely on the Mohave County Sheriff's Office and the tribal police department for use of their dogs but they were often already on duty elsewhere in the county.
"The Sheriff's Office has also been willing to help, but they have a tremendous amount of land mass to cover," DeVries said.
Those who'd like to see Sam in action are encouraged to attend the Walk Away from Drugs event at Centennial Park in October.