HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - The Huntington County Sheriff's Department is welcoming a new member of their team who's breaking barriers.
The department is welcoming K-9 Lily, who's their first hired female officer. She will work with her handler, Deputy Austin Smith.
"We have had one prior female officer, the elected sheriff, but other than being elected she is the first hired female deputy that works for the Huntington County Sheriff's Office," Smith said.
Just last week, the Dutch Shepard traveled back to her new home, a journey that was thousands of miles in the making.
"She was originally born in Belarus and shipped over here where she stayed in Michigan at the kennel where we picked her up and brought her home on Friday," Smith said.
The long distance traveled is making for a partnership that Smith believes will make the community safer.
"She can search for children or missing adults," Smith Said. "She'll sniff for narcotics and then she'll also be trained in handler protection, so she'll do some bite work and she'll be trained in some obedience."
As Lily prepares to go through the most difficult test of her young life, Deputy Smith knows she has a bright future.
"I look to see a long, healthy career from her," Smith said. "Hopefully she can make some big busts and get some drugs off the street."
Deputy Smith said that Lily will go through 14 weeks a training starting at the end of the month. She's expected to start in December.