MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The force is strong with “Vader.” The police force, that is.

The 2-year-old Belgian Malinois has joined the ranks of the Miami Beach Police Department but not without facing some hairy competition.

The department took a look at the skills of Vader and four other four-legged applicants, Wednesday.

The contenders were put to the test with their handlers, as Miami Beach Police officials selected the dog they deemed most capable at bomb detection and criminal apprehension.

“This is an incredible tool that we use on a daily basis,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Henry Doce. “These dogs are used in building searches, area searches. We’re constantly looking for criminal subjects that flee from the police, that have committed violent crimes, so they’re also used in either bomb sweeps or narcotics sweeps as well.”

Vader emerged as the top dog. His next step will be an intense six months of K-9 training with his new partner.

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