He served as an ambassador, sniffed out a burglar and starred in educational videos, but now the Forest Preserve is bidding farewell to its furry, four-legged police officer Jullo.
After eight years on the job, the German shepherd will live out his retirement with his handler, former K-9 officer and Forest Preserve police Sgt. Dean Klier, who recently took a new position with Plainfield police.
Jullo, a good-looking dog with a commanding presence, really pulled his weight during his years with the District, said Forest Preserve Police Chief Tracy Chapman.
“Jullo assisted in hundreds of activities and incidents since his arrival in early 2013,” she said.
In addition to helping catch a burglar in Beecher, he assisted several neighboring police departments looking for illegal drugs, he tracked a bank forgery suspect in Mokena, and he assisted in numerous drug arrests. Jullo also appeared, along with Klier, in a "Don't Be A Jerk" series video designed to get dog owners to behave while using Will County forest preserves.
“Jullo also has been a great public figure for the department,” Chapman said. “He attended Forest Preserve District events including ‘Food Truck Fridays’ and the ‘HUGS for Hounds’ annual Easter egg hunt. And he made public appearances at Manhattan’s 'Public Safety Community Night' and Lockport’s ‘Canal Days.’”
Jullo replaced the Forest Preserve’s first K-9 Rosie Redtracker, who was a bloodhound and followed live scents. Jullo was trained to track drugs as well.
“Having a dual purpose K-9 trained in both narcotics and live scent tracking is beneficial to the safety of our preserve users,” Chapman explained. “The Forest Preserve District of Will County Police Department uses K-9s to promote a safe and drug-free environment in the preserves.”
Jullo was forced to retire due to degenerative arthritis in his hips.
“Jullo was a wonderful K-9 employee, as was Rosie,” Chapman said. “They really knew how to fall in line and take the lead.”
The Forest Preserve’s Board of Commissioner’s voted Thursday, October 8, to accept Jullo’s retirement and allow Klier to take ownership of the dog.
“Dean always dreamed of being a K-9 handler since he was a kid, so we helped make his dream come true,” Chapman said.
Now that Jullo has retired, the Forest Preserve will make plans to find a replacement K-9 sometime in the future.
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