The use of dogs in police work began in Europe in the late 1800s, and the first use of police canines in the United States began in the 1970s. The police dog is a service animal first. The dog's unique qualities make searching for illegal drugs, lost articles, and fleeing suspects a much easier task for the handler/police officer. The use of the police canine (K-9) in the Davidson Police Department began decades ago and continues today with Corporal M. O'Brien and her K-9 partner Bajouk (pronounced “Bye-uuk”). Bajouk, a Belgian Malinois, lives with Corporal O'Brien and trains daily to stay proficient in all specifically trained skills and to keep his handler sharp too.