Sgt. Andrew Zeigler has worked for the Schuyler County Police Department for 24 years.

His secret weapon, sits in the back of his car. Her name is Ria.

Ria is part of the Schuyler County police department’s K-9 program.

“We’ve had people run from a house, going through the dark, with no flash lights. she’ll indicate if theres a person hiding in the are,” Zeigler said.

Zeigler says the K-9 dogs are especially helpeful with finding drugs, and tracking lost children.

This year Schuyler County has been nominated for the Aftermath K-9 Program, and can win up to $5,000 in grants.

Bill Yessman, Schuyler County Sheriff, says winning the grant would be important because the program relies entirely on donations..

“The money would go towards maintenance, the dogs have regular health care, vet bills, and equipment for our program,” Yessman said.

Sheriff Yessman spent eleven years as a K-9 handler for the county himself.

“You always have someone watching your back,” Yessman said. “When I was a handler, I worked primarily the night shift. When you are out of the car on a traffic stop, it’s always reasurring to turn around and see the glow of their eyes are watching you in every move you make.”

A  bond that most K-9 handlers will tell you about.

To vote for Schuyler County or any other police department click here.