Board members work with State's Attorney to support local drug enforcement efforts
Funds to be used to purchase K9 for Wilmington police, fundraiser underway for SUV
"Elected officials at all levels of government must work together and partner with local community groups if we want to turn the tide of drug-induced homicides," said Freitag. "This is a fine example of just that, and I applaud everyone involved that is committed to keeping citizens safe in both my hometown of Wilmington as well as across Will County."
“Our Nation is in the grips a heroin epidemic that is savagely claiming the lives of people from all walks of life. As elected officials we feel the call to action to reduce overdose deaths by targeting heroin dealers and expanding overdose investigations,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “The Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community’s fundraising effort to buy a K-9 detection dog will help our Wilmington Police take heroin off our streets. I will use money I have seized from drug dealers to cover the $13,500 in expenses to purchase and train the dog and its handler, leaving the coalition to raise funds for an SUV to transport the dog while on patrol. I can think of no better use for this funding.”
Narcotics Detector Dogs are specially trained to find concealed drugs in buildings, vehicles, luggage, packages, and on persons. The most commonly used breed is the German Shepherd. These dogs have the unique ability to focus while distracted and can perform, for example, around loud noises, during gunfire, and in large crowds. The drug dog will become one more very important tool for local law enforcement to track down heroin, get it off the street, and bring offenders to justice.
"It's important to increase public safety and protect our children," said Gould. "This will help Chief Arnold and his department keep Wilmington safe."
The Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community launched a fundraiser to purchase a K-9 detection dog to help Wilmington Police take heroin off the streets. After Will County Board members and the State's Attorney met with coalition members and Wilmington Police Chief Phil Arnold, State's Attorney Glasgow offered to use money seized from drug dealers in Will County to cover all expenses associated with purchasing and training a detection dog. The focus of the fundraiser is now to obtain an SUV police vehicle to transport the dog.
Will County communities continue to fight against the seemingly uncontrollable heroin epidemic sweeping the country. Despite making some headway to reduce fatalities through targeting dealers, educating the public and training law enforcement, the number of deaths is on track to top 250 in the past 5 years. Since reducing fatalities by 35 percent in 2013 and 2014, there has been a near 100 percent year over year increase in 2016.