Oak Grove police force gets first K-9 officer thanks to donations from generous community

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OAK GROVE, Mo. -- Drugs have been a problem for the small Missouri town of Oak Grove, so they've hired a new officer charged with cleaning up the streets.

Merlin is the city's first K-9 officer. Officer Andy Anderson is his handler, and they've spent the past eight weeks training.

City residents came together this summer to raise more than $13,000 to get Merlin from Germany.

Up until now, Oak Grove officers had to wait for another agency's K-9 unit to come to the car of a suspected drug dealer - and if they were busy, they'd have to let the suspect go.

"I’ve always loved working with animals, and I’ve always wanted to be a police officer and so now I have the best of both worlds," K-9 officer Andy Anderson said. "That’s what it is. Plus he doesn’t really talk back a lot and which partners do."

Merlin has a few more days of training left but he was officially sworn in and activated Tuesday to help catch criminals in Oak Grove.