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15 K-9s honored at memorial for years of police service

Northern Illinois Police K-9 Memorial holds annual ceremony in Libertyville.

By Dan Campana

After several years of planning and fundraising, the Northern Illinois Police K-9 Memorial became a reality in 2012.

On Wednesday a ceremony at Highland Memorial Park in Libertyville continued the organization’s mission to honor police dogs who served their departments and citizens during their law enforcement careers.

(Northern Illinois Police K-9 Memorial photo)

It all started in 2004 with the passing of Sinbad, the K-9 partner of Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Fanella, due to heatstroke. Fanella made it his goal to make sure Sinbad’s memory was never forgotten – and that all K-9s in the region would have a place to be remembered for years to come.

The memorial now pays tribute to dozens of K-9s stretching back to Ranger of the Des Plaines Police Department whose end of watch occurred in 1966.

(Arlington Heights Police Department photo)

Those who were recognized along with their handlers included:

  • Oak Forest Police Department: K-9 Dakota – Sgt. Scott Durano
  • East Dubuque Police Department: K-9 West – Officer Anthony Row
  • Wheeling Police Department: K-9 Duke – Officer Jeremy Hoffman
  • Jo Daviess Sheriff’s Office: K-9 Vader – Deputy Lisa Duerr
  • Chicago Police Department: K-9 Max – Officer Jennifer Swain
  • Harvard Police Department: K-9 Hunter – Sgt. Stephen Dixon
  • Woodstock Police Department: K-9 Brinx – Sgt. Ray Lanz
  • Winthrop Harbor Police Department: K-9 Lando – Officer William Bogdala
  • Illinois State Police: K-9 Rocky – Trooper Matt Renderman
  • Calumet City Police Department: K-9 Chico – Officer Gary Oliva
  • Winthrop Harbor Police Department: K-9 Drago – Officer William Bogdala
  • Alsip Police Department: K-9 Eddie – Officer Chad Rezny
  • Arlington Heights Police Department: K-9 Layka – Officer Kevin Sullivan
  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office: K-9 Thor – Deputy Anthony Fanella
  • Carpentersville Police Department: K-9 Keeper – Officer Jason Nilles

(Cover photo courtesy of Arlington Height Police Department)