New k9 handler in Walbridge after former officers gun stolen

New k9 handler in Walbridge after former officers gun stolen

WALBRIDGE, OH (WTOL) - A missing village-issued gun and a K9 without a handler. That was the situation in Walbridge early this year.

Officer Nick Colwell's gun was stolen out of his vehicle while off duty at the Franklin Park Mall. He was the village's K9 handler for Echo an 8-month-old German Shepard.

Colwell failed to file a police report after the incident that according to a police report happened on December 8th. His report with Toledo Police was filed on January 5th, nearly a month after the alleged theft.

The Village of Walbridge conducted an internal investigation and the former K9 handler resigned from his role in early January after the conclusion of that investigation. The village issued gun is still missing, but is registered as stolen.

During this time, Echo was without a trainer for his future as a k9 officer. The village worked to find a new handler and now his training is back on.

Walbridge's new K9 Handler Terry Glosser uses German commands to continue Echo's training as a K9 officer. He's eight months into training and just a month and a half in with his new trainer.

"Anytime a dog goes to a new handler, you're going to have a little bit of and adjustment period where the dog gets used to you and start to realize that you're going to be basically his dad from now on and we went through that," said Terry Glosser, a Walbridge Police Officer and K9 Handler.

Officer Glosser said he and Echo are quickly growing their bond as a team, this after the dogs former handler resigned from the village. Now the community is hoping to move forward in a positive manner.

"Some issues happened," said Mayor Edward Kolanko. "All we can do is be better today than we were tomorrow and really that starts with getting our new chief on board and making sure we make a good selection in those candidates and continue training for our officers and continue training for echo the K9."

The village's interim supervisor also resigned after former officer Colwell's gun went missing.

Mayor Kolanko says they have received several resumes for the job and the deadline for applications is Thursday February 15th. They hope to have a new chief for the department hired sometime this March.

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With Echo's fate unknown, the mayor began looking for a new handler and immediately chose Officer Terry Glosser to be the village's handler. Leaders say he was 

the perfect fit because of his Army experience, compassion and determination with the K9's training.

"When we're making these kind of transitions there's always kind of the unknown factor," said Mayor Edward Kolanko. "So, seeing it really transform in a positive way and seeing the dog do exceptionally well makes us very happy."

"I'm very excited it's something I've always wanted to do it's a dream come true," said K9 handler Terry Glosser. "I'm very lucky and grateful that the Village of Walbridge has put me in this position."

Now, Officer Glosser and Echo's training has reached new heights. Echo has adjusted well and his training is tracking to begin his certification next month for drug interdiction, tracking and evidence recovery. Their future together is bright.

"Well the future for me and Echo, we are going to be here a long time in Walbridge and assisting any other agencies that request us and our biggest thing is getting all the drugs off the road and that's what we're excited to do," said K9 handler Glosser.

Walbridge's Mayor says they know they have to earn the communities trust again and that starts with communication, solid training and public interaction

something Echo and Officer Glosser get a lot of.  

Blair Caldwell

News Reporter

WTOL 11 and Fox 36