EASLEY — In a series of surprise announcements at Easley’s City Council meeting, Chief Tim Tollison introduced and welcomed four new officers to the Easley Police Department — two of which are teenagers.
In dog years anyway …
“I have a very exciting announcement to make,” said Tollison. “He is 17-months-old, he is from the Czech Republic and I would ask for everyone in the audience to not put their hands out. You’re gonna draw them back with one less digit.”
EPD’s newest K-9 officer, Rex, a German Shepherd, entered the room under the guidance of his handler, Officer Jose Medina.
“Czech Republic? Does he speak English?” joked Mayor Larry Bagwell. “Empty your pockets!”
Rex underwent months of intensive training before being shipped over to the United States and is a welcome addition to the department, Tollison said.
“But I’m still not done, I have another announcement,” said the chief. “We also have a 14-month-old from the great land of Holland. His name is Lu.”
Although three months younger than Rex, Lu — also a German Shepherd — is markedly larger.
Lou’s handler, Officer Tay Brinston, said training for the handler can last anywhere from three to 16 weeks depending on what the pair is tasked to do.
When the mayor asked why the dogs both came from overseas, Brinston said the training the dogs receive was “more in depth” than what was available here in the states.
The EPD has been without a K-9 officer since “Tony” — another German Shepherd — retired several years ago. Tony lived the remainder of his life at home with his handler Jeremy Miller and passed away in 2014.
But it wasn’t just the four-legged officers who were welcomed to the EPD at the meeting. Tollison also took the time to introduce Officer Courtney Wise and Officer Chase Thomas.
“Wise joined the EPD a few weeks ago and previously served with Columbia City,” said Tollison. “Thomas is a local resident from right here in Pickens County.”
According to Tollison, both of the new (human) additions to Easley’s finest come from a family line of cops on the job: Wise’s father was a police officer in the Columbia area and Thomas’ father currently serves with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.