FREEHOLD - Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden announced Monday that a new K-9 has joined the Sheriff's Office Law Enforcement Division.

The nearly 2-year-old black Labrador retriever from Texas is highly trained in narcotics. Gunner was trained by the renowned USK9 Dog Training Academy in Louisiana after being hand selected for the intensive program, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"We are grateful to have Gunner as part of our K-9 Unit," said Sheriff Shaun Golden.  "He comes to us with impressive credentials and will be a tremendous asset in providing vital services to Monmouth County and local law enforcement agencies when it comes to combating the proliferation of narcotics in the county."

K-9 Gunner will be paired up with Sheriff's Officer Kurt Kroeper. "Gunner's primary role will be to assist in narcotics investigations," said Kroeper. "I look forward to working with Gunner in the months and years ahead and have no doubt that he will be an outstanding partner in the fight against crime."

Gunner was purchased through forfeiture funds and a donation from the 200 Club of Monmouth County. The 200 Club provides families of law enforcement members who died or were injured in the line of duty with financial and emotional support.

The donation for K-9 Gunner came after Sheriff's Officer Kroeper lost his beloved K-9 Evan to cancer in 2014.