Lincoln Twp. police meet new K-9

Lincoln Township Officer David Burrow kneels beside Echo on Wednesday during a visit to Eaton Rapids. Burrow will be Echo’s handler when the dog is fully trained.

STEVENSVILLE — Lincoln Township police officers were able to meet the department’s incoming K-9 in person on Wednesday.

Police Chief Gary Soper said they plan to welcome the 1-year-old Belgian Malinois – which they are calling Echo – to the station on April 5.

Students from Stewart, Roosevelt, Hollywood, St. Paul's Lutheran and Christ Lutheran elementary schools helped name the K-9 Echo through a schoolwide vote, Soper said.

Echo arrived in the U.S. from Poland on Friday. Since her arrival, she has been busy in scent training.

Echo will come to Lincoln Township on April 5, where she’ll be housed with K-9 Officer David Burrow. Echo and Burrow will then leave on April 15 to attend a five-week training program in Eaton Rapids.

Soper said the dog’s anticipated graduation is May 15.

“We’re ready for her right now. The squad car is outfitted and everything,” Soper said. “We don’t have any plans for a community event because we’re waiting for the training to be completed.”

Soper said Echo will eventually make her rounds to each of the schools that helped name her.

Mid-Michigan Police K9 made the trip to Poland in late March to hand-pick the township’s four-legged officer. Soper said Echo was chosen by a trainer, who had a choice to make among 165 dogs at the facility in Poland.

With the help of community donors, the police department was able to buy the K-9, outfit a vehicle with the cage, install a kennel at the police station, and buy handler equipment and other incidentals such as a bulletproof vest.

Lincoln Township police had originally set a deadline to raise funds by February, but reached their goal in November.

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski