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Kill Devil Hills welcomes furry new officer

The Kill Devil Hills Police Department newest member is only 2 years old, weighs about 71 pounds and is (generously) about 4-and-half-feet tall standing on his tip toes. Regardless, the department expects big things from him.

Meet Zar, the force’s new K-9 officer. Zar’s handler, Officer Steven Gulludge, has been with the agency since 2015 and has always aspired to be a K-9 handler.

Zar, a Belgian malinois, came to Kill Devil Hills from American K-9 Interdiction, a training facility in Carrsville, Virginia. The duo underwent an eight-week training course where they worked together from morning until night.

Zar is trained in tracking (finding lost persons or persons fleeing from police), article searches, narcotics detection and apprehension. Officer Gulledge noted that the dogs cannot be trained in certain overlapping skills: for example a narcotics detection dog cannot also be trained in explosives detection.

While Zar has a good disposition, police ask if you come across K-9 Officer Zar out in public that you first speak with Officer Gulledge before attempting to pet or introduce yourself to him.

Read more about Zar, and see more photos, in Sunday’s print edition of The Coastland Times.