Walker, a 17-month-old German shepherd, joins the department’s three other K-9s: Sonic, Hero and Kody.

CRESTVIEW — Fifth-grade students at Walker Elementary received a long-awaited surprise on Monday afternoon.

Students at the school spent the entirety of the last school year raising money to help the Crestview Police Department get a fourth K-9. In order to raise the money, the students participated in different fundraisers, including a "change war."

First-grade teacher Elizabeth Springle, who spearheaded the fundraising efforts, presented the Police Department with a $2,000 check on behalf of the school Jan. 22.

“Mrs. Carnley and Mrs. Wagner reached out to the Crestview Police Department. We were trying to make a connection and bridge the gap between the students and the police,” Springle said. “We knew they needed another dog, so we wanted to help meet that need however we were able to.”

The department’s newest K-9, Walker, who was named after the school as a way to say thank you to the students for their efforts, made his first public appearance at the school.

“I loved (the students') reaction. I love that they were just so excited and thrilled seeing what they were able to contribute to actually happen,” Springle said. “I think they were even more excited when they were told they were the first ones to even meet Walker, so that was a big deal for them. “

Walker, a 17-month-old German shepherd, joins the department’s three other K-9s: Sonic, Hero and Kody.

Walker will be under the control of his handler, Officer Corey Rawles.

According to the department’s Public Information Officer Andrew Schneider, Walker was purchased from a police and military K-9 center.

“They provide training and field the dogs for temperament and reaction, things of that nature,” Schneider said. “His training is ongoing. It happens all the time with K-9s, but he has gone through the basic requirements laid out by the state to be considered a working dog.”

Each shift at the department will now have a K-9, who can do searches, such as drug and article searches, as well as apprehensions when necessary.