If all goes as planned, "Shadow," a Dutch shepherd, will be on duty in February, Pickerington Police Chief Mike Taylor said.

Pickerington school students have chosen a name for the police department's new canine unit.

If all goes as planned, "Shadow," a Dutch shepherd, will be on duty in February, Pickerington Police Chief Mike Taylor said.

"The dog is coming out from West Virginia," he said. "I'll get her probably sometime in January and she'll hopefully be on the road sometime in February."

Students from Diley, Harmon and Toll Gate middle schools last month raised $272 for the canine unit. It was part of a contest in which they were permitted to submit proposed names for the dog every time they donated $1.

"I think it was a wonderful thing, and it gave the kids an opportunity to name the dog," Taylor said. "They have some ownership in it and their donations were greatly appreciated."

Officer James Gallagher, who joined the department in April 2008 after six years with the Logan Police Department, will lead the canine unit. He'll keep Shadow at his home and the two will work together whenever Gallagher is on duty.

Taylor said Gallagher's typical shift will be from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., but the two will be on-call at all times.

For more on this story, see the Dec. 3 edition of ThisWeek Pickerington.