By Michelle Durham

ABINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — The police department in Abington, Pa. this year welcomed its first female officer to the K-9 unit.

Officer Jennifer Doyle had already been an Abington police officer for eight years and says she has loved every minute of it but always aspired to be a canine officer.

“About 13 years ago I met a female canine handler who asked me to do a demonstration,” Doyle recalls.  “Watching her having such control over her canine, I could see how much she enjoyed it and how much I enjoyed being a decoy.  It  was something I knew I just had to do.”

She says qualifying required a lot of hard work.

“There is a considerable amount of running involved in it.  You have to be physically fit and strong to be able to handle your canine.”

Doyle and her faithful partner, Bella, graduated from the New Jersey State Police Canine Academy in February after 18 weeks of training.

Doyle says Bella is a hard worker:

“She’s very good at locating evidence in the field.”

And Doyle says that because Bella lives with her, they have a very special bond.

“This is a 24-hour-a-day job.  We have them as part of our families.  We love them!” Doyle says of her four-legged partner.

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