Sergeant Knowlton grew up in Minnesota, coping with a a mother addicted to narcotics and alcohol. One day, a local officer who had heard of the Chris’ home-issues, offered him his personal phone number with a promise “if you ever need me, call me”. Knowlton found himself dialing the his number shortly after, when he found his mother over dosing on heroin. As promised, the officer personally came out and removed him from the dangerous environment and sought a safe haven for the young boy — eventually being placed in the hands of family in Texas. With this new beginning and new found hope, Chris Knowlton embarked on a journey to “impact someone the way [he] was impacted”, that is by becoming a police officer.
Chris has worked hard at Center Texas Police Department, serving as a patrol officer, narcotics detective, and newly appointed Sergeant. Accompanying these achievements, in 2016, he was gifted K9 Elliot by The Reel ‘Em In Foundation, founded by Minnesota Viking player Brian Robison. Chris felt an extra special connection towards this gifting, given his Minnesota upbringing, saying “I was raised loving the Minnesota Vikings, and here I was given a K9 by a Viking player himself. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to me, it just shows that everything happens for a reason. This was a true blessing.”
Since their union, K9 Elliot and Sergeant Knowlton have made a significant impact on their community. “Center has a larger crime rate in narcotics coupled by a low income rate, so there is a high need for a narcotics dog in our area. Word on the street about [K9] Elliot spread quickly, because he had to be deployed multiple times within the first couple of days of being on duty.”
Not only have the pair successfully tackled crime in Center, but they have also managed to break barriers with the community’s youth. “At a young age, these kids are raised to not trust us. But when your walking around with a dog, these children stop and like to ask questions about the K9. [K9] Elliot has helped to knock down these perceived barriers and allow me to start building relationships with this next generation.”
In the words of Sergeant Chris Knowlton, K9 Elliot is a hero, peace-maker, and his “best friend”. From their first encounter, Houston K9 Academy trainers Jazz and Jason said that they had never seen a canine bond as quickly as K9 Elliot did with Knowlton. “I never expected to fall in love with a K9 the way I have with Elliot. He’s my best friend, there’s no doubt”.
“I owe so much to K9s4COPs for everything they have done for me, and for connecting me to the Brian Robison Reel ‘Em In Foundation. Everything happens for a reason, and this whole process has just been a huge blessing for me.”
THANK YOU SERGEANT CHRIS KNOWLTON!