APD K9 officer has record of high profile arrests

He’s only been with the Albuquerque Police Department for six years, but this officer has racked up quite the track record, arresting high profile criminals.

His partner says it’s his keen sense of smell that leads him to success.

“He originates from the Netherlands. I’ve had him since 2013,” says Sgt. Michael Hernandez.

Sjef is Sgt. Hernandez’s partner. He’s an 8-year old Belgian Malinois who’s been working with the department since 2013.

“During that we have had a lot of success in some of the high profile suspects that he’s been able to apprehend,” says Hernandez.

Sjef helped find Davon Lymon back in 2015 after police say the ex-con shot and killed Officer Daniel Webster.

Steven Leewright is another suspect Sjef helped track down after security video showed him swinging around a machete in a grocery store.

Throughout his career, Sjef has helped arrest 28 people. Sgt. Hernandez says practice is what makes Sjef so successful.

“We just train to not only protect ourselves but also the officers out there. That’s how we train everyday,” he says.

Sjef understands commands in Dutch and English.

Along with patrolling the streets of Albuquerque, he can also be called out to search buildings and work with the SWAT team.

Hernandez says using canines like Sjef not only protects the public, but suspects as well, keeping them from confronting officers.

Sjef will retire next year and will live with Sgt. Hernandez during his retirement. APD has six other dogs but is looking to expand the K9 Unit.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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