Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy Ray Miller has formed a strong bond with his K-9 partner "Gator". The two were paired-up in May.
Ray Miller said "It's a lot like having children. They're a lot like family members. They're fun to work with".
Miller and Gator's teamwork was credited with capturing an armed drug suspect. On July 31st, deputies raided a mobile home in Saucier, where John Cooper and Michael Davis were accused of running a meth lab. The suspects allegedly shot at the officers, then ran into the woods.
Miller said "Late in the night, we were in the woods looking for the subjects. When Gator air scented on the subject, we entered the woods where the subject was at. When we were about 15 feet away from him in the dark, he fired rounds at us".
Miller said Davis fired those shots, but the bullets missed their target. Miller fired back. Miller said "He was shot twice, and then he was held at gunpoint until back up units arrived".
Sheriff George Payne said "He was in those woods by himself with his dog, and was able to confront them and walk out of the woods with no other law enforcement officers or civilians getting hurt".
Payne added "He did an excellent job that night. People don't realize how desperate those fugitives were. They were high on meth, they just been caught at a lab, they were shooting at the police, they were convicted felons, they had guns on them, they knew they were going to the penitentiary for a long time".
That's why Sheriff Payne nominated Miller, for the Officer of the Quarter Award. Miller said "I was surprised. All they did was called and told me to be there. They didn't tell me what was going on. It's always good to know that people see that you are working hard and trying to do a good job".
Besides the plaque, Deputy Miller also received gift certificates to area restaurants. He is now in the running for Officer of the Year.