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Happy birthday! UT Police celebrates K-9 Kale's fourth birthday

The police department's hardworking K-9 unit turned 4 years old on Saturday!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Saturday is an important day for one member of the University of Tennessee Police Department — Kale, a hardworking Black Labrador.

Officials said that it was Kale's fourth birthday on Saturday. The police department celebrated the birthday on social media, posting a photo of the K-9 unit near Circle Park.

Kale is certified in explosives detection and joined the department in August 2019. He is the department's first Black Labrador and joined three other K-9s: Bruno, a German Shepherd certified in drug detection and apprehension, and Athena and Tica, both Belgian Malinois certified in explosives detection. 

He was paired with Officer Kaylyn May, who said that he has a lot of energy and can be a good match for the campus community.

And just how does a police dog happen to be named for a vegetable?

According to a release, his original family gave him the name Kale but spelled it Kael. His new handler simply flipped the 'E' and the 'L.'