PONTIAC - Brad DeMoss has always wanted to work with dogs and he entered law enforcement with the hopes of one day having a canine partner.
In May, he got his wish when he joined Draco as the Pontiac Police Department's K-9 Unit. Since then, the pair has been instrumental in finding drugs - crack cocaine and marijuana - in the community.
For DeMoss' efforts and dedication, he was named the department's officer of the year. The award is given by other officers in the department.
In the nomination letter, a fellow officer said, "He has been a fine ambassador for the Pontiac Police Department and has on countless occasions demonstrated leadership both on and off duty."
DeMoss, 25, joined the department three years ago. Draco, 2, is a Belgian Malinois - a breed commonly used by law enforcement.
"I've always had dogs growing up and always liked being around them," he said. "I thought it would be fun to work with one."
The pair work normal shifts at the department and are on call 24 hours a day. They work together to search for drugs and for people who may run from authorities. They also take part in public relations activities.
DeMoss doesn't think he did anything special to deserve the officer of the year honor.
"I come to work every day and do my job," he said. "I think the reason my peers nominated me was because I put in a lot of hours training the dog, even after our normal hours."
DeMoss said his wife, Megan, also plays a key role, understanding work hours and welcoming Draco into the couple's home.
DeMoss said Draco is a lot like other police officers, having different personalities at work and at home.
"When he is at work, he can be aggressive," he said. "When he is at work, no one can come up and pet him. But at home, he's not like that."
DeMoss said during slow times at work, he is able to take Draco to a park to work on training exercises.
"It's a lot of fun," he said. "Playing together is actually training for work."