Aftermath Awards K9 Grant to Kane County Sheriff’s Office
November 7th, 2014
AURORA, Ill. (November 7, 2014) – Today, Aftermath Services LLC officially announced the winner of the company’s 2014 K9 Drawing. The winning entry was submitted by Abbey Villwock, an Information Specialist with the Illinois state Kane County Sheriff’s Office, in the Warrant Processing Division. The Aurora-based biohazard cleanup company awarded the agency $5,000, complimenting another grant received in mid-September. The purchase cost of the new K9, a shepherd named Jack, was covered by Spirit Blue Foundation and the Planet Dog Foundation. The funds from Aftermath will be used to cover the cost of a three-week intensive training course for Jack’s handler, who is new to the KCSO K9 Division. When speaking on the importance of training, Undersheriff Patrick Gengler said, “Sometimes the dog is easier to train than the handler.”
Jack, who is just over a year old, was born in Hungary and purchased by Northern Michigan K9, who also provides the training. Jack will replace one of the unit’s veteran K9s, an 8-year old German Shepherd named Gino, who has been on duty since 2009. Gino’s handler, Deputy Bill Gatske, has served with the KCSO for 15 years. Following retirement, Gino will become a permanent member of the Gatske family.
During his 5 year career as an explosives sniffing expert, Gino participated in countless dignitary and presidential protective sweeps, explosives detection searches, and suspect apprehensions. Gino also made frequent visits to area schools and community events, where he served as an ambassador for his department and for the work of law enforcement agents.
KSCO’s K9 unit currently consists of 5 dogs, including Gino. The dogs specialize in one of three areas, explosives, narcotics, or missing persons. “Not every dog on the team does the same thing, but we try to get the dogs at a young age so that all members of the unit are exposed to the same obedience training. Still, a dog who deals with missing persons cases is going to behave differently than a dog trained to work narcotics.” Most police dogs are shepherds or Malinois, but the Sheriff’s office also has a bloodhound.
“A K9 is an investment,” Gengler relates. “They can help a department save valuable time and resources during an investigation or search, but they also require routine upkeep and daily maintenance.” Veterinary care, food, appropriate facilities and equipment, as well as regular training hours to keep the dogs’ skills sharp are just a few of the expenses faced by a functioning K9 unit. Furthermore, K9 policework is taxing, and requires energy and focus. Even the most dedicated dogs typically work less than a decade.
About Aftermath Services LLC.
As the nation’s only dedicated crime scene cleanup company, Aftermath Services LLC recognizes the contributions made by service dogs like Jack and Gino. In an effort to provide law enforcement with access to this valuable resource, Aftermath created the yearly K9 drawing to help offset the cost of creating or maintaining a K9 program. Law enforcement agencies from around the US are encouraged to enter and one lucky winner is chosen at random. The drawing is just one aspect of the Aftermath Cares program, directed at rewarding first responders for their ongoing efforts to protect and improve their communities. For more information on Aftermath trauma cleaning services, or learn more about the relationship between Aftermath and law enforcement, call 877-872-4339.
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