The status of public protection in the Village of South Jacksonville has quite considerably changed after the events which took place at Village Hall Thursday evening.
First, Officer Andrew Morgan waited until the very end of the Board of Trustees meeting to introduce those in attendance to Luger. Luger, a 15-month old Belgian malinois, will serve the Village of South Jacksonville – and the surrounding area through mutual enforcement – with Officer Morgan as a K9 unit.
Officer Morgan describes his pride in fulfilling the main dream of his career.
“It’s always been my dream to be a K9 handler, ever since I’ve been in law enforcement it’s been my goal. I always saw the guy with the dog and was calling for them but now I’ve got him – you get to help other officers. Some guys have goals of being a chief, or sergeants, things like that. I’ve always hoped to be a K9 handler. And I compare it to first becoming a police officer and getting your badge. Now I’ve got the dog, my K9 partner, and I’m looking forward to working a solid number of years with him; he’s young.”
Mayor Harry Jennings says Luger is a welcome addition to the village Police Department.
“We’re absolutely fascinated by Luger and excited to have him join the force. We’re looking forward to him helping to clean up the streets of South Jacksonville, keeping drugs off the road. He’s gonna do a fabulous job for us.”
Luger and Officer Morgan underwent intensive training to cover a variety of topics, scenarios, and knowledge of which both the K9 and the handler must always be aware. The training took place in Arkansas, where Luger was nationally certified. According to Police Chief Tim Mann, Luger has also completed state of Illinois K9 certifications.
The other shakeup in the world of South Jacksonville Emergency personnel comes from the volunteer Fire Department. Though the Village of South Jacksonville has a strict policy of not discussing ongoing personnel matters, WLDS/WEAI News has been informed by David Hickox that, after 40 years of volunteering with the Fire Department and Rescue Squad and over 20 years as chief, he was last night given notice of his options to resign or be fired. Though no additional comments have been made available by any Village personnel, it is apparent that Hickox will no longer be serving as Fire Chief.