K-9 Echo reports for duty with DPD

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Officer Tyler Buchanan pets newly-badge K-9 unit Echo during a city council meetingm

The Denison Police Department is welcoming its newest four-legged officer. Members of the department and the Denison City Council met officer Echo, the department's new K-9 unit, last week with an official badging ceremony at city hall.

Police officials took the opportunity to thank the many groups who raised thousands of dollars for the purchase of the new K-9 unit and for training. The Denison Rotary Club held a golf tournament and raised $25,000 for the project, while Denison Independent School District, citizens police academy alumni association and other community groups assisted.

"We've garnered some money from a whole lot of folks in order to make this possible," Police Chief Mike Gudgel said.

During his time with the department, Echo will carry badge number 156. Echo is replacing Officer Ivar, the department's previous K-9 who served from 2013 through early 2021 and retired earlier this year.

Echo is a two-year old Belgian Malinois, a breed that has increasingly replaced the German Shepherd in many law enforcement roles in recent years. During his initial training, Echo was trained to detect and identify several controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin. 

Echo has also been trained in building searches, suspect apprehension and tracking.

Officer Tyler Buchanan will partner with Echo during the canine's time with the department. Buchanan said there has been a learning curve as his partner doesn't understand English — Echo was instead trained in German and Dutch.

Requests for interviews on details of the training for both officer and K-9 unit were not immediately returned at the time of writing.