Tink, Jax and Sasha might be the only members of the UNCG police force that students are excited to see. They are also the only members with fur coats and tails. With an ability to sniff out trouble, these rescue dogs have found careers in campus police work.

The UNCG Police Department K-9 Unit has been around since 2007, with three active dog and handler teams.

Belgian Malinois dogs Tinkerbell (Tink) and Jax, and Dutch Shepherd Sasha are used to track missing persons, find hidden evidence and search buildings. Chief of Police at UNCG Police Department, James Herring said that the dogs in the K-9 unit have been valuable assets to the force.

“You’ve got speed, agility and the nose too – and they’re very, very smart,” said Herring.

According to Herring, the dogs have been able to save the department hours of time by quickly and effectively completing searches, and keeping human officers out of harm’s way. The dogs and handlers are constantly training together.

The unit celebrated the retirement of a German shepherd named Aja last fall. Aja was the first canine member of the force with 317 deployments during her career and a schnazz that lead police to seize nearly six pounds of marijuana, five guns, a car, and 30 grams of crack cocaine during her service.

When a police dog retires, they usually get to live with their caretaker. Aja is currently enjoying retirement with her handler, Sergeant David Combs, also retired.