KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler presented the annual K-9 of the Year award on Monday afternoon.
This year’s honor goes to Officer Rusty Bruce and his K-9 partner “Rocky.”
Officer Bruce has been a K-9 handler with the sheriff’s office for seven years. Over the past year together, he and Rocky have had 33 arrests and 15 apprehensions.
“I trust my dog with my life,” Bruce said Monday. “We’ve been in situations where we didn’t know how the outcome was going to come, and with the dog being there, it comes out the way we want it to come out. He will put his life on the line for any of my partners or me any day. When I tell K-9 Rocky to go find the person, he goes and does what he has to do to find that person, and he keeps us safe and get us out of that situation the best he can.”
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office trains its K-9 officers and it takes 400 hours of training before the K-9s can officially go out on the job. Currently, there are 16 teams working at the sheriff’s office.