NOVI, Mich. - Novi's new police dog, Becker, honors a local Air Force major who died in 2017.
Maj. Andrew Becker, 33, was killed when a plane he was flying crashed during a training mission. Two other airmen also died in the crash.
Becker served in the Air Force for 10 years. He was deployed nine times and logged more than 2,000 hours in Afghanistan, Iraq and other undisclosed countries while flying 459 combat missions.
The city of Novi honored Becker in September 2017, six months after his death, with a memorial outside the Novi Civic Center. It includes a tree, plaque and stone bench inscribed with “Andy’s Bench” with bronze boots. Becker's parents, Gary and Stacey, are longtime residents who have lived in Novi for 44 years.
Gary Becker proposed the name Major for the K-9. The dog's handler, Officer Stacey Simon, had a dog named Major growing up, but she still wanted to honor the fallen airman, so she chose the name Becker.
“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,” Simon said. “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 was picked up Thursday from Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. He will train at the Oakland Police Academy from May 13 to June 27.
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