Deputy Brian Thompson's new partner has convinced him to keep working a couple of years longer.
Thompson was considering retirement in December, but then "Pharoah" came into his life.
The 8-year-old, 80 pound, Czech Shepherd was donated to the Sheriff's Office by the Niagara Falls PD and handler Michael Bird after K-9 "Finn" was retired due to a medical condition.
Thompson has nothing but praise for Pharoah, who he described as a great tracker, good with children and an excellent drug detection dog.
"When we get a chance to use him for tracking, we're going to find some bad guys andhopefully find some people who might be missing," Thompson said.
Already, Pharoah is making an impact in the fight against illegal drugs in Genesee County, according to Thompson.
"He's had some awesome drug finds so far that led us into some pretty good arrests, in the Class B felony range," Thompson said. "That inspires me."
It inspires him, Thompson said, to keep going for the sake of the community.
He thinks local law enforcement has been making good progress so far in fighting meth and crack in the community.
"Hopefully, some people will be put back on their heels to say, 'I don't want to deal drugs in Genesee County -- they're catching a lot of people there,'" Thompson said. "We can clean this town up. I love this place. It's the greatest place to live in the world."
Pharoah is trained to alert on methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, hashish and ecstasy.
He is also trained to track human scents, both in the open and in confined areas, and trained for handler protection and criminal apprehension.
The K-9 program's vet bills, medications and non-handler kenneling are paid for from a K-9 fund set up with community and business donations, including an original substantial donation by Ken Barrett Chevrolet several years ago. All equipment for the K-9 program also comes from the fund, and when Pharoah retires in a couple of years, a new K-9 will need to be purchased from the fund, which has been dwindling over the years, Thompson said.
He said he's confident, when the time comes, the community will come through to offer continued support of the Sheriff's K-9 program.