German shepherd sworn in to Merrill Police Department - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

German shepherd sworn in to Merrill Police Department

MERRILL (WAOW) -- The Merrill Police Department officially welcomed a furry friend to the force Tuesday night.

Eros the K-9 officer took his oath of office at the Merrill city council meeting.

"This is kind of just a ceremonial, formal type thing, making it official that he's a member of the Merrill Police Department," said Officer Matt Drabek, Merrill's K-9 officer.

Eros has been patrolling the streets for almost a month. In that short time, officers say he's made seven drug busts.

Police say they expect him to continue to be a valuable member of the team.

"The dog's helped me and my job," said Officer Tyler Tesch, Merrill's drug recognition expert. "He's found people that have had the odor of drugs on them that I am then able to determine that they are impaired and then they are arrested."

People from Merrill say they feel safer walking the streets of their neighborhood knowing that Eros is a part of the police department.

"I commend them for doing this because I'm just happy to know that whenever I come home, I'll be feeling safer," said Celine Goessl of Merrill.

Community members say bringing Eros onto the force has sent a strong message.

"It tells all the people here that they are important enough to be kept safe, to keep drugs and other crimes out of this city," Goessl said.

Drabek says his relationship with Eros improves every day.

"I can definitely tell he's much more comfortable with me than he initially was, and of course with me working more with him, I'm more comfortable at reading his body language so it's just getting smoother," he said.

With his swearing-in out of the way, Eros is ready to get back to doing what he's trained for -- keeping Merrill safe.

Drabek says the community has gotten to know Eros through meet-and-greets at the library.

He says anywhere they go, people are always coming up to say hello.
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