Matteson, IL (January 24th, 2017) – Yesterday, the Matteson Police Department of Illinois was officially presented a $500 grant as part of the Aftermath K9 Grant Competition, held in October of 2016. The department placed 5th out of over 3,000 nominees in the month-long competition. Winners were chosen by popular vote.
Matteson’s Deputy Chief Rob Debeikis, accepted the check alongside Officer Jim Strappazon of the K9 unit, and his new partner, K9 Officer Jayda. The award was presented by Aftermath’s National Director of Business Development, Stephen Brown.
Jayda is a 3 year old Belgian Malinois. After completing a 10 week training course last month, she is now on solo patrol. Though she’s still a rookie, Jayda already has a big bust under her belt: she recently assisted with a search and discovered 8 lbs of marijuana and $56,000 in cash. Jayda is not the first dog on the beat in Matteson. She replaced K9 Officer Xanto, who retired from the force in December at the age of 9. Xanto is now living out his retirement with Officer Strappazon, who was also his partner on the force.
Jayda is young and very energetic. Her reward for good work is time spent with her favorite toys. She is most attached to her yellow ball, and after drug busts she’s awarded with a tug toy made from pieces of old fire hose. The K9 officer is also multi-lingual; she understands commands in Dutch, German, Spanish, and English. As with some of her human counterparts, police work runs in Jayda’s family; her father was a K9 officer for the Decatur PD, and her daughter was just sworn in as an arson dog for the Matteson Fire Department. Not to be outdone, her son is currently in training to be a police K9, too!
According to the department, the $500 grant from Aftermath Services will be used to help pay for Jayda’s continued training. Chief Michael Jones relates: “Most people don’t realize how expensive it is to have a K9 unit. Jayda and Officer Strappazon train every week. Added to that are costs to maintain special equipment. We are thankful for the Aftermath grant because there isn’t always funding available.”
About Aftermath Services LLC.
As the nation’s largest dedicated crime scene cleanup company, Aftermath Services LLC proudly recognizes the contributions made by K9 officers and their partners. In an effort to provide law enforcement with access to this valuable resource, Aftermath created the annual K9 grant to help offset the cost of creating or maintaining a K9 program. Each year, law enforcement agencies from around the US are encouraged to participate in the competition by gathering votes through word-of-mouth, social media, and local news outlets. The contest is just one aspect of the Aftermath Cares program, aimed at acknowledging first responders for their ongoing efforts to protect and improve their communities. For more information on trauma cleaning services, or to learn more about the relationship between Aftermath and law enforcement, call 877-872-4339 or visit www.aftermath.com.