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"Echo" Now On Duty
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New K9 Echo Is Now An Active Member of the Pleasant Prairie Police Department
During the month of May, the Pleasant Prairie Police Department welcomed its new K9, Echo, and his handler, Officer Scott Beaumier, to active duty. Echo is a mix of German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois and is 16 months old. Echo replaces the department’s former K9 Rico, who retired at the end of 2011. Rico now lives with his handler, Officer Chad Brown.
Echo is considered a multi-purpose police dog. He can assist in tracking people, such as lost children, people with dementia, and suspects attempting to evade officers. Echo can also perform drug searches and provide officer protection during escalated events. Deputy Chief David Mogensen explained, “Having a K9 with so many capabilities has proven to be an extremely valuable tool for the department over the years, so replacing Rico, who was also multi-purpose, was a high priority.”
Echo and his handler, Officer Scott Beaumier, received six weeks of specialized training in Spring Hope, North Carolina. They train together daily on alternating skills whether on duty or off. Due to circumstances in his training, Echo takes a unique approach to performing a search. After having been bumped in the nose with a door during training, Echo learned to first locate an individual and then back up a few feet and sit down before indicating that they have been found. Most dogs will not pause before proceeding towards the found person. Within his first month on duty, Echo tracked and located his first subject.
The purchase of a new K9 and related training was planned for as part of the 2012 general fund budget. All of the expenses related to the maintenance and care for the dog, including veterinarian costs, food costs and training supplies are paid for through donations received directly from concerned citizens. Mogensen added, “If it wasn’t for the generous donations from the public, it is likely we would not be able to continue the K9 program. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.”
To show the community some of the skills they are capable of, our K9 units have performed demonstrations at public events, at local schools, and for local businesses. The department has plans for Officer Beaumier and Echo to continue this community service in the near future. To learn more about the Pleasant Prairie Police Department and the services that they provide in the community, please click here.