Deputy and his K-9 partner always put their best paw forward

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Patrolling the roads of Jefferson County, Kansas, Sgt. Kevin Gibson is never without his trusted partner.

"I always just liked having somebody who would listen to me. He's always in the car with me, whenever we get out on a call if it's a dog deployable call, he's always right there,” said Gibson.

Gibson has served 23 of his 34 years as a law enforcement officer with a K-9 by his side.

Grazl is his sixth partner on puppy patrol.

“He’s a little higher speed. He likes to get the job done before me so I'm always having to keep my eye open on him. He still doesn’t know his age yet, he still goes everyday ready to go to work,” said Gibson.

The eight-year-old Belgian Malinois is as much a member of the department as anyone else, equipped with instincts unmatched by his human counterparts.

"He goes to schools and does locker sniffs at schools," Gibson said. "Checks buildings on certain cases where there's lost evidence. He can help me find evidence, a gun, knife, key, clothing.”

And in Jefferson County, he’s the only four-legged officer on duty, which makes this duo that much more vital.

"Always being on call at this agency, I'm the only dog handler so if we're ready and able to go, we go. “

Having a K-9 partner isn’t always all work and no play, but don’t get too comfortable; Officer Grazl is ready for duty at a moment’s notice.

“Sometimes his instincts are better than mine. I've had him barking before and I don't know what's going on, and then I'll see somebody and he's smelled them or heard them before I have," said Gibson.

Whatever Grazl sniffs out, Sgt. Gibson makes sure he is ready for action.

"Usually it's eight hours a week that we'll dedicate four hours to each discipline,” he said.

Gibson says it's well worth the time.

"You become attached to them, but you also have to understand that they're a tool and you can't get too attached," Gibson said. "You still have to be able to do your job if something happens to him.”

Because he knows the value of always putting your best paw forward, creating the loyalist of partners and a friendship unmatched.

“I've always been taught to treat people the way you want to be treated, even on some of the bad calls. You come out more successful that way, and the dogs always been a big help to me. He's always with me all the time,” said Gibson.

Sgt. Gibson also wears the badge for the Meriden Police Department and Rock Creek Township Fire Department.

Gibson says throughout Officer Grazl's eight years of service, he’s responsible for about 100 arrests.

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