Meet Echo, Brick’s Newest K9

from left to right: Chief James Riccio, Sgt. Paul Catalina, K9 Echo, Ptl. Scott Smith, Ptl. John Turrin, K9 Vader, and Captain Steve Gerling. (Photo courtesy Brick Township Police)

BRICK – A recent graduate joined the ranks of the Brick Township Police Department. Echo, a German shepherd, recently completed his training and has been assigned to Patrolman Scott Smith.

Echo is now capable of tracking and patrol work, according to the township’s police department. There are opportunities to continue training to specialize in other areas.

  Training included agility, handler protection, officer protection, verbal command control, socialization, tracking scent, and building clearing.

Brick Township Ptl. John Turrin and K9 Vader accepting their graduate certificate from Toms River Sergeant James Reilly and Toms River Chief Mitchell Little. (Photo courtesy Brick Township Police Department)

  The training was overseen by Toms River’s Sgt. James Reilly, with assistance by Sgt. Paul Catalina of Brick Township, and Patrolman Anthony Carafa of Allenhurst. Echo was one of the dogs who graduated from a training program and went on to departments in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

  The role of the K9 is as varied as that of their human counterpart. They go on patrol, wearing bulletproof/stab-proof vests. They also put on demonstrations at community events.

  Currently, Brick has five K9 teams. In addition to Smith and Echo, there is Sgt. Catalina and Duke, Patrolman Prendeville and Max, Patrolman Fogerty and Rigby, and Patrolman Turrin and Vader.

  Vader is a Labrador retriever who joined the department last year. He also attended some of the training to become certified in scent tracking. He is an explosives detection dog.

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.