CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - Meet Clinton Police Department’s newest officer, Annika. She’s what her fellow officers like to call “vocal.”
“She’s a part of the family. If I have to make a run out, then I’ve got extra reassurance that my home is being protected by her,” said Annika’s handler, Anthony Fox. “As you can hear.”
This week, Clinton Body Shop owner John Mosley made a donation of a bullet-resistant vest to help protect her as she’s helping protect the City of Clinton. Throughout the ceremony, Annika barked her approval and thanks.
“The dog is putting itself in harm’s way and we just want to see the dog protected,” said Mosley. He has previously donated a vest to the Richland Police Department as well.
Annika, like other K-9s, has specific jobs. Drug sniffing and tracking, and of course chasing and apprehending bad guys. She also protects her partner.
“He’s got immediate backup if you will,” said Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman. “He’s got an extra level of safety that can be deployable immediately if he needs it.”
Many K-9 handlers will tell you their dog is the bravest and most well-trained officer on the force, because the everyday tasks are a given, but K-9s are sent into hostage situations, bomb threats, and tight spaces where other officers with all their equipment can’t fit.
There are also times they’re sent to bring down a suspect with a knife. They are often shot, stabbed, and beaten on duty, just like regular officers. But more often than not, they’re not wearing any kind of equipment to keep them from those attacks.
The Officer Down Memorial Page has a section for K-9s killed in the line of duty. Earlier this week, a police K-9 was shot and killed in Tennessee.
“What Mr. Mosely has done is reassure the safety of one of our very own,” said Fox. “She’s a K-9, but she’s the police at the same time.”