- Published: Friday, December 23, 2016 09:12 AM
GLENDALE HEIGHTS- K-9 Orkan and Glendale Heights Officer Mike Huff are like family. Every night, Orkan goes with Huff to the home he shares with his wife and two kids.
State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed the Police Dog Retirement Act, to guarantee Orkan will remain part of the Huff family for years to come.
Cullerton’s law, Senate Bill 3129, requires a retiring police dog to be offered to the primary handler of the dog, will go into effect on January 1, 2017.
“Our family dog, Brenna, is a part of our family. I understand there is a special bond between an officer and their dog,” Cullerton said. “It’s important that we honor this relationship.”
If the officer doesn’t wish to keep the dog it can be offered to another officer or employee, a nonprofit organization or a no-kill animal shelter.
Police dogs, similar to Orkan, serve local police departments by helping search for drugs and explosives, aiding in searches for lost people, looking for crime scene evidence, and protecting officers. Police dogs must remember several hand and verbal commands.
Orkan is a three-and-a-half-year-old German Shephard that started his training with Huff in September of 2014. The police dog is a dual-purpose canine for the police department; he is performs drug searches as well as aiding in search-and-rescue missions.
In Orkan’s free time he loves tennis balls, playing fetch and taking long walks throughout Huff’s neighborhood. His tennis ball addiction is fed by donations from local tennis clubs.
Cullerton believes this is not only a way to honor the service of Illinois police officers but also a cost-effective way to give police K-9’s a safe and responsible home.
“I’m happy to pass a law to not only honor the service of our communities’ police officers but also honors the relationship between a family and their dog,” Cullerton said.
PICTURE: Glendale Heights Officer Mike Huff, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and Police K-9 Orkan pose for a picture before Roll Call on Wednesday, December 21.