HARRISBURG, IL — A local police department in southern Illinois is getting a new four-legged officer to help give investigators a leg up on their searching and tracking efforts. 

The Harrisburg, Illinois, Police Department says the local city council voted unanimously in favor of buying a K-9 for the department. 

Police say the dog will help detect drugs, track people, apprehend suspects and aid in searches of buildings and searches for specific items. 

The police department says the dog will be partnered with officer Ross Bergman. 

The next step, now that the department has city council approval, is to go through the vendor selection process to evaluate dogs. The K-9 team will also be sent to a 10-week training course at the Illinois State Police Academy, the police department says. 

The Harrisburg Police Department says it expects the dog and his handler to be in full service in May.