SOME THREE years ago, the Martins Ferry Police Department went to the dogs. It was a move that has benefited the city's police force as well as many in surrounding communities.
Ecko is a K-9 police officer. Since joining the force, Ecko has been handled by Chad Kuhn.
Kuhn is in the process of relocating; consequently, he is surrendering the leash to fellow Martins Ferry officer John Holmes. Being a K-9 officer's handler is no easy task.
While Ecko had to undergo extensive training, much goes the same for his handler. Countless hours are needed to get the two on the same page.
Kuhn served his role exceptionally well. He and Ecko formed a crack crime-fighting team.
Now the burden shifts to Holmes. He appears up to the challenge and has the endorsement from his chief, John McFarland, who terms Holmes as both "a great officer and great person while being well respected by the department and community."
Holmes volunteered for the duty and is relishes his new assignment.
For the last month, Holmes and Ecko have been in Columbus together working and training. Holmes has received rave reviews from those administering the training.
In these days of high crime and rampant drug activity, K-9 officers are not luxuries but rather vital necessities. Ecko has been a major player in curbing illegal activity in our area.
We commend Officer Kuhn for his three years of superb service as Ecko's handler and we have full confidence Holmes will continue in the same fashion.