Toys & Training

Assembly Des Plaines Police Division’s Okay-9 Cop; Officer Jager


Officer Alfonso Galvan working with Des Plaines Police Okay-9 Jager, holding a tender baton-like chew toy. (Noah Festenstein/Journal Picture)

Tuesday’s (Aug. 2) Nationwide Evening Out in Des Plaines will function officers giving demonstrations, excursions and actions on the police division, 1418 Miner St., from 5 p.m. to eight p.m. Amongst these demonstrating will probably be police Okay-9 officer Jager, along with his handler, officer Alfonso Galvan.

Jager is a 6-year-old, 85-lb., half Dutch Shepherd, half Belgian Malinois, with a black coat. He’s recognized not simply inside the Des Plaines Police Division, however throughout the realm the place a Okay-9 could be wanted.

The job of a police Okay-9 is to help officers when wanted. Whether or not that’s sniffing for unlawful substances or apprehending a suspect; Jager is fitted to a job that, with the assistance of officer Galvan, maintains proficiency in his Okay-9 duties. 

“He sort of feeds off me,” Galvan stated. “Jager is aware of what working is relatively than being at residence. He has completely different collars we placed on him for various varieties of labor. So if I strapped on his harness Jager is aware of we’re monitoring someone. Different collars he is aware of could be for a narcotics search.”

Jager assists the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in searches when wanted. In a single state of affairs, in keeping with Galvan, Jager helped sniff out 12 kilos value of narcotics hidden in a bag at O’hare Airport.

When wanted to catch a suspect, Jager is skilled to “apprehend” — “the nicer phrase for biting,” Galvan stated. Coaching has taught Jager to focus on limbs, to chew and maintain so the suspect may be handcuffed. Every suspect is given a number of warnings earlier than the canine is launched.

At a visitors cease, Jager can be utilized to acquire a search warrant by strolling round a automobile. If he signifies a scent, by regulation, it is sufficient to search a automobile. “So long as we don’t delay a visitors cease, we will run a Okay-9 across the automobile,” Galvan stated. “We wouldn’t want a search warrant for the automobile if the canine alerts. Let’s say you get stopped for a tail mild violation, that officer can write that ticket, if I can get there earlier than that ticket is written I may run the canine across the automobile.”

General, coaching is a course of, in keeping with Galvan. “Our preliminary coaching was two months with the state police academy. So for 2 months we lived down there,” he stated. “Monday via Friday it was exhausting as a result of Jager is a ‘high-drive canine’ so I’d present up early, go away late, I’d be the primary one and the final one there and it was simply very repetitive.”

A reward system is in place for canines in coaching, corresponding to giving treats. Nevertheless, Jager solely likes one sort of deal with. “He’s not skilled with treats,” Galvan stated. “He’s simply skilled along with his toys.” Jager’s favourite toy is a tennis ball, and he likes to hold round a tug-of-war tender baton.

Now simply turning 6, if wholesome, Jager can work within the police division till 10 or 11 years outdated, whereafter, he will probably be dwelling at residence with officer Galvan. “He’s not displaying any indicators of slowing down,” he stated. “He’s at all times playful, I’ve a 1-1/2-year-old child at residence that Jager actually will get together with.”

Des Plaines Police Division’s solely Okay-9, Jager, is seeking to serve with honor — and with as a lot play time as doable with Galvan.

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