PITTSBURG -- Move over McGruff. The people have spoken and the Pittsburg Police Department has a new mascot: a German shepherd. Arf!

"We had a total of 1,144 votes and out of those, over 54 percent chose that the German shepherd should be our crime-fighting mascot," police spokesman Lt. Ron Raman said.

Some of the votes were cast on the department's Facebook page while others resulted from vote-gathering effort at schools in the Pittsburg Unified School District during the survey period which lasted just over a week.

The German shepherd candidate was among four choices in the survey. The eagle came in at second place with 20 percent of the vote, followed by McGruff the Crime Dog, who was the department's previous mascot and garnered 15 percent. And last and least, a cougar candidate got just 10 percent of the vote.

"We had some voters from Antioch, Concord and Bay Point, but the majority of voters were from Pittsburg," Raman said.

Now that the mascot has been selected, the next step will be to come up with a name along with purchasing of the appropriate German shepherd costume.

"He is in the process of getting hired, and once hired will have the uniform," Raman quipped. "McGruff is retired."

News about the new mascot is also on the department's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pittsburgpd.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.