Texas A&M: Texas A&M University Police Welcomes New K-9 Officer

The Texas A&M University Police Department (UPD) welcomes a new K-9 to the force. “Echo” – a 1½ year old Dutch Shepherd – was born in Poland and in August joined his partner, Officer Clay Crenshaw, in Aggieland.

Training for the officer and K-9 took place between July and August 2021. Crenshaw and Echo attended the Pacesetter K-9 Academy in Liberty Hill, Texas, where they completed a 120-hour detection course. Echo was certified as an explosives detection and tracking dog through the Pacesetter Explosive Detection and Tracking Certification Course.

Echo was given to the department by K9s4COPs, a Texas-based non-profit that provides trained K-9 partners to law enforcement agencies, fire departments and schools worldwide.

Typically, the cost of each K-9 ranges from $15,000 to $45,000 for the most specialized, and often, they are the first essential weapons to fall in departmental budget cuts, UPD officials said. In 2011, Texas philanthropist Kristi Schiller founded K9s4COPs to fund the donation of trained K-9s and the ongoing training of officers to public safety agencies. K9s4COPs has placed 247 K-9s across the U.S and in Paris, France. The dogs trained and placed by K9s4COPs have removed more than $1 billion in contraband from the streets and helped protect over 2 million students each school year, UPD officials said.

The K-9 will be utilized daily on the Texas A&M campus and in the local community. Echo will provide support at sporting and special events and to law enforcement agencies in the area.