SHEFFIELD, Ala. — The Sheffield Police Department debuted its newest K-9 unit on Tuesday.

The K-9 unit was originally managed by Sgt. Nick Risner, the officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty in October 2021. The department was left without a K-9 unit for over 11 months following Risner’s death.

Officer William Vasquez, the new K-9 Unit officer, told News 19 that he will be trying to continue Risner’s legacy.

“It’s kind of humbling to be in that same position,” Vasquez said. “We’re going to do the best we can, train the best we can, and try to make Sheffield proud.”

Risner’s K-9, Wiske, retired after Risner’s death.

Vasquez is partnered with Hulix, a young Malinois dog that recently completed his training. Vasquez told News 19 that Hulix is very friendly and that he enjoys attention, but he takes his job very seriously.

“Day one they gave me Hulix, and I couldn’t be happier with his demeanor and his temperament,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez later said that a K-9 unit’s primary job is to detect drugs, but they can also help with search and rescue, criminal detainment, and more.