LIGONIER TWP. (KDKA) — Since the tragic death of Lt. Eric Eslary, Ligonier Township has been without a canine officer. But that’s about to change, thanks to a Belgian Malinois named Kilo.

“Everything we saw of this K-9 partner was the fit for us.”

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Sgt. James Friscarella makes up the human half of the new K-9 tag team training to fight crime for Ligonier Township.

“He’s doing well so far,” he said. “We got him about two months ago.”

Since then, Kilo and Sgt. Friscarella have been training. And not just to sit, stay and lay down.

“It’s every day, Monday through Friday, seven or eight hours, we go through every aspect of tracking, bite work, narcotics work,” he said. “You’re gonna have that moment in training with the dog where you’re like ‘what did I get myself into?'”

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Especially when the K-9 decides to go all “lap dog.”

“You’ll go through days when he’s blah and you know he’s not feeling it for the day,” Sgt. Friscarella said.

But Kilo wouldn’t be here if were not for the K-9 legacy started by Lt. Eric Eslary.

“Lt. Eslary was a big part of the community. His legacy. I got to watch it every day. I got to see it every day,” Sgt. James Friscarella said. “If I can be half of the canine officer he was, I’ll be good. Cause he was a great, great man.”

For now, it’s more and more training. And while its all about K-9 training. It’s very much a story of a man and man’s best friend.

“He’s getting better every day, he’s my puppy,” he said.

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Kilo is still a couple weeks away from suiting up for his job on the streets of Ligonier Township. Six weeks of training, then certification, then Kilo and his human partner will be on the job.