On February 17th 2010 the Rochelle Police Department added K9 Don to the department. He was purchased in Denver, Indiana at Vohne Liche Kennels. Don is a Belgian Malinois that came to the United States from the Czech Republic.
Officer Emily Anderson is Don's handler, and they both went through 10 weeks of training in Springfield through the Illinois State Police. They continue to train regularly in the areas of obedience, handler protection, article searching, and narcotics detection. In September of 2010, Don located a controlled substance in a vehicle, which resulted in the seizure of $19,000 cash.
In June of 2012, K9 Okar was purchased from Northern Michigan K-9 Inc. He is a German Shepherd that is trained in the areas of obedience, article searching, narcotics detection and handler protection. Officer Brian VanVickle is Okar's handler, and his training was conducted at Northern Michigan K-9's facility.
The K9 program is a vital tool for the patrol division as it enhances their capabilities. Due to their superior senses and abilities, a properly trained canine can be extremely valuable in situations that require searches, apprehensions, evidence location and officer protection. Both dogs were purchased with funds that were raised by the community. This reflects the department philosophy of building partnerships with our citizens, businesses and service organizations in the City of Rochelle.