Eau Claire (WQOW) - Another K-9 is joining the Eau Claire Police force.
Manso is a 1.5-year-old Belgian Malinois. He came all the way from France to be trained as the ECPD's new K-9.
"K-9s are just another tool in the tool-belt that we can use," said Officer Austin Summers. "It's another recourse we can call for. Dogs can go places people can't, which keeps us and community members safer."
Officer Summers will be handling Manso, and they both will go through training for six weeks in New Mexico, which will begin sometime this fall. The ECPD told News 18 the K9 will be used for drug and addiction apprehension, along with area searches for items or missing persons.
"They really help with officer safety. Where they're sent to try and apprehend somebody, their building searches are faster," said officer Bridget Coit. "If they're sent into a building our officers are not having to go into a building where we potentially have an unknown subject, or unknown weapons, or really don't know what the situation is. So, in essence, helping our officers stay safe, which in turn, helps our community."
Coit also thanked the community for its support of the police department's K-9 unit. She said without that kind of support, the department wouldn't be as successful.
Manso will be the department's third K-9, but K-9 Duke is set to retire later this year.