The Llano County Sheriff’s Office has gained another four-legged officer. Cezar, a 4-year-old Czech shepherd, began working alongside owner and handler K9 Deputy Byron Cervantez on Feb. 26, becoming the county’s third K9 recruit.
“I’m very proud to have him on board and Officer Cervantez on board,” Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn said.
Cezar and Cervantez met in 2018 while Cervantez was working in Hardeman County. The two trained together at Pacesetter K9, a Liberty Hill company specializing in training dogs for law enforcement and personal use. Since then, the pair has been inseparable.
“I’ve worked with Cezar for three years,” Cervantez said. “I’ve been in law enforcement for three and a half, so we’ve been together since the beginning.”
Cezar is trained in both narcotics detection and suspect apprehension, making him the only dual-purpose K9 on the team. He is also an excellent tracker. According to Cervantez, the two of them once tracked a missing elderly woman with Alzheimer’s on foot for over four hours while working in McCullough County.
“He was right on her trail,” Cervantez said. “He brings something to the table no human can.”
Before Cezar began working with the sheriff’s office, special equipment had to be installed inside law enforcement vehicles for safety purposes. While on duty, Cezar rides in a heated and cooled kennel. Blackburn said the kennel keeps Cezar, and anyone who rides in the car, safe.
Although Cezar might add some cuteness to the team, he is always on high alert, looking out for his handler.
“When you approach these K9 marked vehicles, approach with caution or wait for instructions from deputies Cervantez and (James) Treadway,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post. “There’s a good chance, should you not pay attention, that you’ll hear the dogs alert, by barking, to their handlers that someone is there.”