DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - The DeRidder Police Department has a new addition to the force and he's a little different than the rest of the men and women in blue.
Axel, a K9 narcotics detector, is the first K9 for the city's police department in almost a decade.
His handler, Sgt. Edward Kuzmik went through five weeks of training in Abbeville with Axel to be certified. The department received a grant to pay for the training and the K9.
Axel is trained to detected five odors as of right now: marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy. Sgt. Kuzmik says he has already assisted in detecting drugs in two cars.
"It's been a good time, it's been fun," says Kuzmik. "We're still training. It's constant training. We're honing our skills. When I first got Axel we had to do some bonding together, so what I've learned is that Axel is a hugger. He loves to jump on you and give you hugs. Real friendly dog."
Axel was born and raised in the Netherlands so his commands must be given in Dutch.
Axel will be spending his shifts with Kuzmik and live with him and his family. Kuzmik says that Axel, a Belgian Malinois, and his other dog, a German Shepard, get along great.
"At home, he is like a pet. He's ready to work when it's time to work. When it's time to relax, he'll relax," says Kuzmik. "He's a great partner."