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    K-9s Added To Local Police Forces

    In recent weeks (and perhaps to the chagrin of cat-lovers), police organizations in the Fox Valley have announced four new additions to their K-9 forces, reinforcing the importance and unique capabilities of man’s best friend to policing and mental health.

    Facts About K-9s

    K-9s are truly astonishing in their capabilities Here are just a few amazing facts:

    • A canine has the ability to smell 100,000 times + stronger than a human.
    • A properly trained police dog saves 600 to 1000 man-hours every year.
    • K-9 officers reduce the risk to human officers by alerting to danger long before a human can detect it.
    • A canine’s presence often prevents escalation of force.
    • K-9 handlers are more likely to be involved in a use-of-force incident than a regular deputy or patrol officer.
    • K-9 officers live with their handlers. This promotes a better bond, but they are not treated as a “pet.”
    • A K-9 handler’s vehicle is equipped with a special compartment for the canine to ride in. And it’s right next to the space for suspects, with a partition separating them. Very intimidating for the suspect.

    Meet the new additions.

    Dax and Riggs, Naperville Police Department

    Officer Alexis Hammer and her partner Dax (German Shepherd) are assigned to patrol and work similar schedules to the patrol officers. This is a uniformed position, with the officer driving a specially marked K-9 vehicle.

    Along with general patrol duties, the patrol K-9 officers conduct building, evidence and suspect searches; track missing persons and suspects; and detect illegal narcotics. Rocco joined the Naperville Police Department in 2017, and Dax joined earlier in October 2022.

    Officer Matt Susnis and his partner Riggs (Labrador Retriever) are assigned to the Investigations Division’s drug unit. Riggs is a single-purpose police K-9 trained to detect illegal narcotics. He assists with traffic stops and the department’s proactive enforcement of drug laws along with warrant sniffs at residences. 

    Single-purpose narcotics dogs have outstanding focus and excel at their jobs since all their training is focused on one task. Riggs joined the Naperville Police Department in October.

    Sadie and Loki, Kane County Sheriff’s Office

    Sadie and Loki were sworn in recently as therapy K-9s in the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.

    Along with their handlers, Detective Deanna Velazquez and Social Workers Desi Avitia and Brenna Russell, they’ll be serving alongside their handlers in the Special Victims Team to help victims cope during traumatic times.

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