Last February, the Rochelle Police Department began looking into the ability of starting a K-9 unit. Because of budget constraints the prospects didn't look good, but in a few short months things turned around.
Now, almost a year later, with the help of donations from the community the Rochelle Police Department has a new addition to its force.
Still a young pup and eager in learning the ropes, 18-month-old German shepherd, Olaf, is the newest and only canine on the force. K-9 Officer Olaf and his partner, Officer Phil Frankenberry, work side by side in all aspects of drug detection, patrolling, and officer protection.
"He's considered an officer here, but he's considered my best friend, my protector I guess at night for me," said Officer Frankenberry.
More then $50,000 in donations from the community brought Olaf here to protect and serve. A $20,000 grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority purchased the K-9 squad car. It's money the Rochelle Police Department says is well spent.
"I think we'll see that come back many times over, with drug confiscations and car confiscations," said Sgt. Bill Tracey, Rochelle Police Department.
K-9 officer, Olaf, spent six weeks training with Officer Frankenberry at the Landheim Training Facility in Dyer, Indiana. Community members say his training makes him an asset to the force.
"The police are limited in what they're doing they can make searches, but might miss something where K-9's are so trained for that," said Viola Ithal, Rochelle resident.
Officer Frankenberry and Olaf are now working the streets of Rochelle and Olaf has already assisted in a successful search.
There's a welcoming for Olaf party on Feb. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wendling Motors in Rochelle.
Extended Web Coverage
A Canine is trained to detect the following Narcotics:
- Powder Cocaine
- Crack Cocaine
- Proper leash correction
- Scent and how Scent works
- Air Currents
- Definitions and drives
- Court Testimony
- Self discovery
- Leash Handling
- Behavior Change
- Alert and response to odor
- Golden Retrievers
- Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
- German Sheperds
- Belgium Malinios
Duties Police Dogs Perform
- Track and find wanted criminals or missing persons in urban, rural or rugged wooded areas
- Search all types of buildings for criminals in hiding
- Search for evidence or property connected with a crime
- Search for illegal drugs that have been hidden
- Chase and apprehend criminals escaping arrest who may be armed and dangerous
- Act as a deterrent and back up in dangerous situations such as fights, riots and disturbances
- Provide high profile foot patrols of places such as schools, shopping complexes and parks.
Sources: North American Police Work Dog Association and Web Reports contributed to this report