Lake County students name new police dogs Echo and Axel
Nearly 400 Lake County students submitted possible names for the two newest canine members of the sheriff's office that in the end were pared to Echo and Axel, officials said Thursday.
Each name submitted by the hundreds of students was considered by sheriff's deputies Tyler Girmscheid and Kevin Gauer, who made the final selections.
The name "Echo" was submitted by Millburn Elementary School kindergartner Charlotte Regner. Three students submitted the name "Axel" -- Hawthorn Middle School sixth-graders Matthew Prigorenko and Carson Alper, both of Vernon Hills, and Deerfield High School sophomore Ethan Jacobs.
Both dogs are German shepherds and are in training at Tops K9 in Grayslake with their human counterparts.
Girmscheid is partnering with Echo, and Gauer is Axel's partner. Both men are first-time police dog partners and are excited about the opportunity, sheriff's Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said.
Covelli said all four students will be invited to the police dogs' swearing-in ceremony in June once they've completed their training.
The new dogs will join police canines Boomer, Dax, Duke, Danno and Ryker. Covelli said police dogs provide an essential function in law enforcement.
"Our five other teams have proved they can save lives," said Covelli, adding there are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of their police dogs' finding endangered people. "Our goal is to always have canines on shift so they can serve Lake County including our municipal partners 24 hours a day, seven days a week."