Officer Nala reporting for duty; ASU Police Dept. welcomes new K9

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – There’s a new cop on the job at the Arizona State University Police Department, and she’s got some big paws to fill.

Nala is the department’s newest K9 in training, taking over for Tillman, who retired for medical reasons a few months ago.

Nala is a German shorthaired pointer, a breed that, according to the American Kennel Club is friendly, smart and willing to please.

Like Tillman, Nala will train to be a bomb protection dog.

Tillman, who served two years with ASUPD until he was diagnosed with a condition called elbow dysplasia, is now a full-time family dog who will enjoy his retirement with his handler, Officer Colton Adams, along with Adams’ wife and children.

Tillman was Adams’ first K9 partner. He will now partner with Nala, who is described on the ASUPD Facebook page as a “sweet and smart girl.”

Nala joins the other two members of ASUPD’s K9 team – German shepherd Zeke, who is a protection and detection dog, and black Lab Dutch, an emotional support dog.

Working dogs like Tillman, Nala and Zeke are incredible assets to the departments they serve.

The essential role of police K9s made headlines almost a year ago when the Phoenix Police Department lost one of its K-9s, Bane, in the line of duty. Bane was helping with the arrest of a carjacking suspect during a standoff in Phoenix. The suspect killed him.

“We really can’t put a number on how many lives the dogs have saved or how many injuries they’ve prevented to officers,” Sgt. Rich Maiocco of the Phoenix Police Department said five months after Bane’s death when the Department was looking for new K9s to add to its ranks.

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