New Calera police dog

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CALERA, OK -- The Calera Police Department has a new officer on duty. He's the only one of his kind on the police force.

Officer Gitano brings his keen sense of smell to the department and Calera officers are glad to have him because he'll help keep drugs off the street.

Officer Mike Graham has a new partner; this is Gitano. The pair spends every minute of every day together and Officer Graham says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's fun to have him you know as a partner. There's always somebody to talk to in the car when it's slow. Things like that, you know. And, you know to him it's just fun. It's a game to him. So, anytime we get out of the car and do things he just has fun time with it," officer Graham said.

Gitano is just a few weeks into his new job at the Calera Police Department.

After the department's former canine retired last year, officer Graham decided it was the perfect time to become a canine officer and jumped on the idea.

"I've always had a love for canines and always wanted to be a canine officer and the opportunity presented itself here and it just kind of came into full vision," Graham said.

Gitano is a Belgian shepherd Malinois. He's been trained since birth to find narcotics.

"Police dog is just another tool that we're able to use to help get drugs off the street," officer TJ White said.

Officer White says they're going to keep him busy.

"He'll do a variety of things. He'll patrol with the officer, do searches for narcotics on vehicles, in buildings and do a lot of stuff with the schools," White said.

When he's not on duty, he's at home with Officer Graham. But Graham says when they're not working, Gitano doesn't get to act like the typical dog.

"It's kind of hard to really define it. You can't allow him to run around like a normal dog does, in the house, things like that, all over the family and everything else. He's got to keep some of that separate because he is a work dog," Graham said.

Gitano will check schools to make sure there aren't any drugs around, but kids will also have the chance to meet him and learn more about what he does.

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