LAKE COUNTY, Ailing. — There’s a special bond between a K9 police dog and its handler, and that bond is proving to be useful for the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
When the position of K9 Handler opened up, Officer John Forlenza, a department veteran, jumped at the possibility.
“I used to be fortunate enough to be chosen,” Forlenza said.
As soon as Dax, a German Sheppard puppy, was able, he began training.
“Dax went through, prior to meeting me, a 12-week program, a pre-training program,” Forlenza said. “Then I got here into the image where I spent eight weeks just going to the kennel facility in Grays Lake.
While each have devoted their lives to law enforcement, when the shift is finished, they go home together.
“That is what he does at home typically, he may be very chill,” Forlenza said. “You place him in a police automobile, he’s all business able to go to work.”
Dax is trained in search and rescue, cadaver recovery, narcotics and suspect apprehension and K9 dogs include a way of smell that’s as much as 100,000 times greater than a human’s.
One example of Dax’s amazing skills got here when he and Forlenza were called to search out a person who had committed a house invasion. From 100 yards away, Dax was capable of find the suspect.
K9 patrols have been utilized in the USA because the early twentieth century. In the trendy day, the USA Police Canine Association is the accrediting agency that certifies dogs and holds competitions.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to take 1st place in that quite a few times in regional competition,” Forlenza said.
On the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Dax is a component of a team of K9 cops.
“They’re massively necessary,” Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said.
Covelli says lately, the detail went from three to 10 and the outcomes couldn’t have been higher.
“They exit each day throughout our community, and not only in Lake County, they’re called and dispatched to help local counties, other local jurisdictions throughout the Chicagoland region,” Covelli said.
While the hard-working dogs have many duties, Forlenza says the perfect part about their job helps find people of their best times of need.
Last November, when a young woman went missing after suffering a mental health crisis, Forlenza and Dax were called to the scene and after they finally found the girl, her body temperature had plunged to 80 degrees.
“Clearly the person wouldn’t have survived in the event that they weren’t found, and that’s a giant source of pride and it’s an awesome reward for the job that we do,” Forlenza said.
Dax and Deputy John have been a part of 300 rescues or apprehensions over time and Deputy Chief Covelli says the department will likely be adding more K9 units in the longer term.
“It’s been a blessing, it’s been very rewarding, but I don’t think we’re done yet. I believe he has lots of gas left within the tank,” Forlenza said.
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