BERTRAM, Texas -- A Central Texas community is getting a four-legged officer to assist in stopping the flow of drugs through their community.
"The I-35 corridor is hit pretty heavily by law enforcement so what we realized was a lot of these folks are now taking detours from San Antonio and going around Austin coming through the county roads," said Bertram Police Chief JJ Wilson.
Wilson said he and his officers have seen a noticeable increase in drug activity as drug runners use State Highway 29 through Bertram. Their solution: A K-9 German Shepard named "Bock."
Born in Belgium, trained in San Antonio, Austin and in Williamson County, the department is already making him part of their own. His original name (Bach) was spelled like the German composer, but now it's spelled with a Texas flavor.
"We're changing it to Bock after Shiner Bock because we had a big donation of Shiner Bock beer to celebrate his arrival," said Wilson.
Bock's arrival was only possible thanks to a $2,000 donation by Bertram business owner Danny Floyd.
"Just part of being in a small community, you pitch in and do what you can," said Floyd.
That money pays for Bock's training at Pacesetter K9, a training facility in Liberty Hill that is DEA certified. There, Bock can train with real narcotics instead of synthetic compounds.
The 6-year-old canine spent the past several years working with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. Once his handler retired, Bock was considered too aggressive to work with a new handler, so he was sent to Pacesetter's trainer Brad Langham.
"He's recovered tens of thousands of pounds of narcotics already," said Wilson.
By the end of January, Bock will begin working with the Bertram Police Department where Wilson hopes he can become a front-line defense in the war on drugs.
"Bock has that extra sense where he can find those hidden compartments in these vehicles," said Wilson.
Many people in the community have also chipped in financially to help pay for Bock's medical care and food.