While most area police departments have liberated themselves of their K-9 units, ordinarily due to financial issues, the Oak Brook Police Department still has their K-9 Unit and it is going strong. This unit is there for their public.
The Oak Brook K-9 Unit was developed in 1993; 2013 will mark their 20th year of existence. The dogs provide the officers a strong safety tool and are not discounted by those that serve with them.
The canine teams in Oak Brook are involved with the following type tasks:
· Search for lost children and tracking of criminals
· Narcotics searches
· Evidence discovery when evidence is lost or otherwise uncovered
· Search for unauthorized people in buildings or other areas
· Pursue and apprehend (on command only with a handler or without command to protect their handler), with minimum force, criminals that are fleeing from major crimes
· Assist in criminal arrests
The Oak Brook K-9 Units are also involved in DARE programs and other types of educational events presented by neighborhood schools and organizations. The dogs are invited to area-wide police and public safety exhibits. This K-9 Unit operates with the Illinois Police Work Dog Association.
These canines are on call 24-hours a day although they respond to only about 200 calls each year. The dogs do not go out on routine calls but they are available all the time, however. There are times that various other Illinois police departments request help from Oak Brook’s canines and they are there to deliver.
Various dogs like Brutus, and previously Uri, are brought in from all around the world to be a special force on this K-9 Unit. Brutus began his patrol in 2006. He is a Belgian Malinois all the way from Holland. Brutus only responds to Dutch commands. His handler/partner is Officer Danny Ramirez. This canine is certified as a police service dog. He is trained in the whole package: narcotics detection, building searches, evidence recovery, tracking, handler protection and criminal apprehension. He continues his training and proficiency – both alone and with his handler.
Uri, a retired Oak Brook K-9, was imported from Germany. His patrol began way back in the year 2000. He responded only to German commands. Danny Ramirez was his handler/partner before he was Brutus’ handler/partner. He was certified in tracking, building searches, officer protection, obedience and narcotics detection. Uri and Ramirez were members of the Felony Investigation Assistance Team/Emergency Response Team (FIAT SWAT). The team of canine and human assisted with high-risk operations which necessitated the special skills and tactics that they were trained for.
The Oak Brook Police Department K-9 Unit has many such canines and continues training to make certain that the unit is always equipped with dogs equal to the events that they get involved in. These dogs have immeasurable wealth and do a world of good. Check them out online at http://www.oak-brook.org/index.aspx?NID=277.