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K-9 Officer Jordan Shelton, The Valley's First Responder for Dec. 2020

They say dog is man's best friend - after sitting down and talking with Officer Shelton, I understood why.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Jordan Shelton is the first local hero I've interviewed whose closest colleague is an animal. He's been a K-9 officer with the Albertville Police Department for over a year and a half, and his inspiration for getting there started with a popular TV show - and no, it wasn't "The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin".

"You know, I think it started when I was a kid," Shelton remembers. "I've always loved dogs. I know when I was younger watching "COPS" I saw a K-9 officer and that's probably what started it all."

He's been on the force for three and a half years. He transferred to Albertville after two years with the Scottsboro Police Department.

"I learned about this opportunity to come to Albertville and ended up being hired. After that I was given my dog. I attended 13 weeks of K-9 school at Huntsville Police Department."

Other than being sniffed out at Newark Airport, I wasn't to familiar with police dogs, and apparently, neither are a lot of people.

"Everybody asks, 'Do you leave him at home?' He's always with me," Shelton says with a smile. "I wake up in the morning, and after I get ready, I go out to the kennel, I get him, I make sure he's got his water for the day, put his collars on him, put him in the back of my car and drive to work. We have a shift meeting every morning with our supervisors. Every day I have to keep up with his training. He has so many different things I have to stay on top of, and that has to be documented."

Their relationship goes beyond partnership.

"I love him like he's my pet, and one day he probably will be. I can't wait for that. It's something to watch him work and see how smart they are."

His dog Knox is a German Shepard. They're usually big and bad, but I did find one weakness: Knox, is a little camera shy.

We've all been dealt a bad hand with 2020, but Officer Shelton stays positive and thankful.

"You know, I think that there is a whole lot more good in the world than there is bad, contrary to popular belief, and I thank God for the officers that wake up every day and do this job."

To nominate someone for Valley's First Responder, click here.

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