OCONTO (NBC 26) — For Officer Brad Shearer of the Oconto Police Department, it's everyday that he and his K9 Falco come together to help protect and serve the community.
"We've found a lot of drugs so far between methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. All three located along with fentanyl,” said officer Shearer.
Falco was added to the department last year after Shearer went above and beyond to get a K9 program started at the department.
"This is something I always wanted to do since I was in high school,” Shearer said.
He explains that at first the Oconto Police Chief said no to helping him get the program started.
"He said if you want this, you're going to have to do this on your own. If you’re willing to put in the work, then we’ll go from there,” Shearer said.
Before you knew it, Shearer researched and prepared a budget. After making a presentation, that was when finally everyone got on board.
“Our chief, his wife started going around and started fundraising at local taverns, local businesses” Shearer said.
Now that Falco is on the force, he isn't only helping to catch the bad guys but the new team is also making an impact to our youth.
"I've been in I think 11 or 12 classrooms already with kids that maybe weren't willing to talk to us. We have frequent flyer houses where we go to the house and we have children that are almost scared to speak to us,” Shearer said. “But going to two of those classrooms multiple times, now I go back to those same houses and I have those same kids that were hiding in a closet are now coming out and speaking to us and showing us their pets."
That's one of the many reasons why the chief nominated him for ‘Officer of the Year’ through the Wisconsin VFW.
In a ceremony this June, he was officially awarded that honored.
"We are a very commented orientated department so to get ‘Officer of the Year’ is pretty outstanding,” Shearer said.
So as the program grows, both the officer and Falco will continue to train and build a trustworthy bond.