FIVE MINUTES WITH... Officer Nathaniel Anderson
Feb 01, 2018 02:14PM
● By Maleesa Johnson
Southlake Police Officer Nathaniel Anderson has served the Southlake community for more than 10 years. In that time, he has built an important bond. While camaraderie is certainly common among police officers, this Officer Anderson’s partner is of the four-legged variety. K-9 Duco joined the team in 2015. Since then, the two have worked together to keep Southlake safe – and it has not gone unnoticed. Officer Anderson and Duco recently received the national award of Top Patrol Dog at the North American Police Working Dog Association. It takes hard work to form a great team, but Officer Anderson and Duco are always up for the challenge.
DUCO AND I BECAME A TEAM… in March 2015. Prior to Duco, I had another K-9 partner named Ruckus. He was medically retired after being on the team for three and a half years.
BEFORE BECOMING AN OFFICER…I worked with juveniles in every aspect from leading a Scared Straight program, being a detention officer, caseworker and probation officer. I have approximately 12 years experience working with troubled youth.
CREATING A BOND WITH A WORKING DOG… is like creating a bond with a friend. It takes time, understanding and trust. Only difference is friends don’t physically bite (I hope). They have personalities just like humans, so you must understand their moods and their body language. Having a working police dog is not a relationship that’s about showing who’s in control because you must work as a team. Once that bond is created, the love is unconditional from that point forward.
I PRIDE MYSELF ON… Duco and I being a reliable resource, not only for the citizens and officers of Southlake but also for any agency that may need our assistance.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING… as an average day for Duco and me. On any given day, we can be conducting a school search, assisting the narcotics unit, assisting an outside agency, conducting SWAT training, conducting weekly K-9 training, conducting a Public Education Demo or working patrol. Our primary purpose is to assist patrol.
I CONSIDER MYSELF A… restrictive dog person. I’m not the guy who’s about to the let my dog sleep in the bed or jump up on furniture. I’ve always had dogs as pets since I was a kid – mainly German shepherds and pit bulls. Before becoming a handler, my knowledge of canines was extremely limited. I knew how to train dogs to do the basic obedience and how to protect my home, but I had no clue about how to read a canine’s body language or to understand what motivated them.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT K-9 UNITS IS THAT… handlers wanted the meanest, craziest and most intimidating dog, the ones where even their fellow officers couldn’t approach the car. Those types of K-9s are a liability to departments as well as to handlers and their families. Police K-9s are not vicious animals. They do what they are told and trained to do. They are a valuable resource for any agency.
MY FAMILY CONSISTS OF MY… two sons, ages 16 and 10, who are pretty active in sports and like spending my money.
I WAS INSPIRED TO BECOME A POLICE OFFICER BECAUSE… I was born and raised in in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I grew up with distrust for law enforcement, mainly for a lot of the reasons that you see in the news today. While in college, I accepted an internship at a boys’ group home which began my career working with juveniles. While working with juveniles, I had to interact and work with law enforcement and those positive interactions changed my perception of the field. Eventually I stepped out on faith, applied to become an officer and here I am.