Supplementing the efforts of Patrol Officers is a full-time K-9 Unit. Last year, the Officer Larson and his four-year-old K-9, Jasko, underwent over 260 hours of basic handler training in order to maintain certification and ensure peak proficiency in obedience, handler protection, tracking, crowd control and narcotics detection. In addition to maintaining its certification for the State of Illinois, the Unit
successfully earned the prestigious North American Police Work Dog Certification.
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the K-9 Unit’s goals have been to search for and apprehend criminal suspects, track missing persons, and further community interaction. These goals continue to serve as a blueprint for the Unit’s operations. Last year, 140 situations occurred in which the K-9 Unit’s services were required, including 87 drug-related events. Twenty-eight incidents involved tracking or searching for suspects of crimes such as theft, weapons violations, burglary, aggravated battery and robbery, as well as subjects wanted on arrest warrants. The K-9 Unit also provided assistance to other agencies on 21 occasions, including neighboring communities and the NORTAF Burglary Task Force.