HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Becoming a K-9 officer was always a dream for Lawrence McLaughlin of the Haverford Township Police Department.
"We each have our own dog that we all take home with them. We get to name them, pick them out," said Officer McLaughlin. "They're your best friend. They are there to protect you. You're there to protect them. It's a different bond for sure."
Today, McLaughlin and his four-legged partner competed in the 7th Annual Delaware County Police K-9 Competition. The community event at Haverford Middle School encourages families to spectate the sensational skills of local dogs that protect and serve.
"A K-9 is able to conduct searches, apprehend some suspects if needed, find drugs and narcotics," said Lieutenant Craig Scott. "In the competition today, you're going to see them doing examples of all those."
Officers from Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Bucks County demonstrated search techniques, obstacle course clearance, and apprehension and restraint.
"The secondary benefit of this whole competition is it brings the K-9 community together," said Scott. "They rely on each other for a lot of information throughout the year."
Community is at the heart of the annual event, which is made possible by generous donors. In addition, volunteers sold t-shirts to raise funds for K-9 relief with the SPCA in Florida.
To learn more about the annual event and upcoming activities with local police, visit the Haverford Township Police Department Facebook page.