Newest Cop Is an Adopted Dog

He's part of an initiative to recruit more animals from shelters

This pup has a nose for crime.

The Chicago Ridge Police Department’s Organized Crime Division today debuted Pantera, their newest officer. 

Pantera, a 16-month-old Black Lab, is no ordinary police dog though. Not only is he the youngest ever drug-sniffer on the force, he was also adopted him from a shelter. 

His partner, Officer Steve Martinez spotted him at the Chicago Ridge Animal Welfare League in May and just had to have him. So, Martinez had the pupster enrolled in narcotics detections school, and soon enough the puppy was putting his nose to the ground looking for drugs.

Pantera, who’s actually been working for about a month already, is part of new initiative to recruit canines for law enforcement from shelters where animals are unwanted or without homes.

"Our Canine unit is a critical asset for the narcotics section. We are very fortunate that Chicago Ridge Rescue had called about Pantera," said Deputy Superintendent Peterson. "As staunch supporters of canines, we view this as a win-win situation – the Department gets an excellent canine partner, and Chicago Ridge finds a good home for Pantera."

"The Animal Welfare League is very proud of Pantera. It just goes to show that shelter dogs have so much potential," said Marketing and Public Relations Director Terri Sparks. "We hope to work with the Chicago Police Department on future endeavors like this very soon and hope that other law enforcement agencies catch on."

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