The newest member of the Tukwila Police Department was all smiles - and a wagging tail - as he met members of the public Wednesday.
Apollo the pit bull joined police for their "coffee with a cop" event at Starbucks in the Southcenter Mall, "due to the overwhelmingly positive reception and interest in Apollo and immense public support we have received," the Department wrote.
Tukwila police are getting praise for choosing the once abandoned pup to be their new narcotics K-9, after they recently told his story on Facebook.
The department posted a photo of the K-9, named Apollo, on Facebook on Monday.
In the post, officers explained that the pit bull had been found abandoned and sent to a shelter. After being at the shelter for six months, staff determined that he would not be a good candidate for adoption due to his abundance of energy. Trying to avoid having to euthanized Apollo, the shelter staff contacted a state narcotics K-9 trainer to see if he would qualify for police work.
Apollo was found to be an excellent choice and moved to his new home where trainers would prepare him for police K-9 work.
But Apollo faced another obstacle: His breed.
“No one would give him a chance simply because he was a pit bull who often have bad reputations based on misconceptions and lack of training,” officers said in the Facebook post.
He was passed over several times for an entire year.
While searching for a new narcotics K-9, Tukwila police heard about what Apollo had been through and officers decided to give him the chance he worked so hard for.
Apollo finished narcotics school first in his class last November.
“He is extremely friendly and can often be found trying to get us to play with him. He has brought great joy to all of us at the department in addition to being a very productive and hard worker.”
He is now a part of his handler’s personal family and the family of the Tukwila Police Department.
To date, Apollo is credited with helping to seize $355k in cash and 30lbs of narcotics.