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Novi K-9 officer named after fallen Air Force hero

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 18:37:00-04

NOVI, Mich. (WXYZ) — The newest addition to the Novi Police Department has been named after a fallen Air Force hero, the department announced Monday.

After nearly 300 submissions from the community, it was decided that the Novi police K-9 will be named Becker, after U.S. Air Force Maj. Andrew Becker who died in a training exercise in 2017.

Novi resident Gary Becker, Andrew's father, suggested the name, adding that Maj. Andrew (Andy) Becker and his wife, Shelly, were supporters of rescue dog organizations. They would help get the dogs into new homes.

"It would be a wonderful and lasting tribute to a Novi hero," Gary said. "The new K-9 police dog will help protect the citizens of Novi, just as Andy did in being in the military.”

Maj. Andrew Becker died at the age of 33. Two other airmen also died in the plane crash. Andrew served in the Air Force for 10 years and was awarded 22 Air Force service medals, according to a release. In 2017, a memorial was placed outside of the Novi Civic Center with a tree, plaque and stone bench with the inscription, "Andy's Bench."

“This new dog is going to be a part of the community, another way to connect with people, so I wanted him to have a name that meant something,” said Officer Stacey Simon with Novi police. “I really like the name because it is different and unique, but mainly because it is a tribute to Andy and the sacrifice he made serving our country.”

Becker, the K-9 officer, will be trained at the Oakland Police Academy from May 13 to June 27.