Not Your Normal Police Academy

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Clinton, Anderson County (WVLT) - Officers from about a dozen different departments are seeking certification over the next few days.

But we're not talking about the protectors of the public you may first think of.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud takes a look at what our "top dogs" must go through to be certified to protect and serve.

Obedience and agility.

"It's a lot of stress, these guys have worked hard," says Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough.

That's what these eighteen k-9's are being judged in, as they sit, stay, climb and crawl their way to certification.

"Rooke" is one of the veterans of this bunch. With five and a half years serving the streets of Campbell County under his leash, he's hardly a rookie.

"He's found quite a bit of drug money, drugs, we've seized vehicles with him, he has probably saved a few lives where we have used him instead of deadly force," says Darrell Mongar from the Campbell County Sheriff's Department.

Each dog is training for some dangerous days ahead.

Just ask Johnson City's hero "Tigger", who took a bullet in the line of duty back in January, and now just four months later, is taking the necessary steps to maintain his position.

"The K9 officer probably has the most dangerous job in law enforcement," says Clinton Police Detective Robert Suarez.

A life of fighting crime that's all new to Clinton's newest cadet, "Reno".

"Just like anybody else they went through K9 academy and now all the work comes to play here and they can certify and put their dogs on the road," says Detective Suarez.

And Reno has some pretty big paws to fill.

"We've lost two dogs. One was an older dog and some symptoms related to that and the other about a month and a half ago we lost a dog to cancer," says Chief Scarbrough.

When Reno completes the course, Clinton will have four K9 dogs on the streets.

A small department, that sees the significance of what these four legged heroes have to offer.

"I'm not sure how you would conduct your department without them available," Scarbrough says.

The group has four more phases they will complete over the next two more days.

Narcotics certification is in October.