CherryVale Mall celebrates Police Week this weekend

CherryVale Mall hosts K-9 demonstrations and more
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - K-9s and bomb robot demonstration are some of the things happening at CherryVale Mall this weekend to conclude police week in the Rockford area.

For more than four decades, local law enforcement recognizes National Police Week. This is a chance to not only honor local police officers but to share this week with the community.

“Let them know we’re not the bad guys, we’re here to help,” said retired Illinois State Police Trooper Lisa Ditzler. We’re the good guys.”

CherryVale Mall recognizes Police Week by putting on K-9 demonstrations and displaying memorials.

“Paying homage to the fallen officers,” Ditzler said. “Some of them were friends of mine, coworkers, so keeping their memories alive.”

Friday afternoon kicks off the first of three days worth of activities at CherryVale Mall for the 43rd annual Police Week. Mall leaders say one goal for this weekend is to educate the public on everything local police departments have to offer.

“That the community knows what police officers go through on a daily basis, but again, I think the education goes a long way and it brings our community together,” said CherryVale Mall general manager Justin Shea.

A popular event during the week is a live K-9 training demonstration at the mall. The Loves Park Police Department at the mall showed off its two K-9s Friday, Koal and Blitz.

“We put in a lot of time and effort in training these dogs and for them to come out here just do what they’re told to do and trained to do and put on a good show on for the public, it’s awesome,” said Loves Park K-9 handler Matt Anderson.

“My favorite part is always the K-9 show,” said CheryVale Mall guest Piper Johnson. “I actually kind of want to be in the K-9 unit when I’m older.”

Anderson says he loves participating in these demonstrations because it’s a chance to show the community one way they can help keep them safe.

“Anytime that we can explain to them what it is we’re doing and how we’re doing it and how beneficial the dogs are to our department, it’s phenomenal,” Anderson said.

The events at CherryVale Mall resumes between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.