EAST PEORIA — A new police dog will soon be joining the East Peoria Police Department thanks to a legacy donation from local residents.

Esther Spinder and her son, Tim Spinder, donated the money in honor of her husband and his father, Herb Spinder, who died late last year. Herb Spinder worked many years in security at Illinois Central College and was a friend and supporter of the local police.

"We were trying to think of a way to honor (Herb Spinder) and I know my son checked into what was involved in bringing a police dog into the department," Esther Spinder said Tuesday. "We contacted (East Peoria Police) Chief Ganschow and he thought it was a great idea."

The Spinders contacted Ganschow a couple of weeks ago with their idea. The money will be used for the purchase and training of a new K-9 police dog for the department.

"The East Peoria Police Department is both honored and humbled by this gift and the support it shows for our department," Police Chief Dick Ganschow said in prepared remarks. "In the next few weeks we will be moving forward in purchasing a K-9, choosing a handler and having them train together. We hope to be ready to have this new addition on the street by the end of the year."

In his security job at ICC, Herb Spinder had become familiar with the work that police dogs are able to provide police departments, Esther Spinder said. The donation felt like a fitting and valuable tribute to her late husband, she said.

The donation will pay for the department's second K-9 officer, as one is currently in service.

"I look forward to seeing this all work out," Esther Spinder said. "(Chief Ganschow) said they would keep me in the loop and let me know who the officer will be that will work with the new police dog."

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at shilyard@pjstar.com. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.