Two new Gurnee police canines were sworn in during a village board meeting Monday evening, officials said.
Canine Leo, handled by Officer Tom Yencich, and Canine Hawk, handled by Officer Travis Hitzelburger, were sworn in at Monday evening’s village board meeting at the Gurnee Village Hall.
The police department announced in March they were adding two new canines and Gurnee school students were asked to submit names for the dogs.
After hundreds of submissions, sixth-grade Woodland Middle School student Ivy Lindstrom won with her submission of “Hawk” and sixth-grade Viking School student Vyncen Bolados won with his submission of “Leo.”
A partnership with Gurnee Mills and Six Flags Great America allowed the department to continue the canine program after their previous two canines, Bear and Hunter, retired last year, Gurnee Police Department Public Information Officer Shawn Gaylor said.
The department was able to adopt and train two new dogs after each organization donated to the canine program.
Both canines and their handlers completed their initial eight weeks of training at TOPS Kennel in Grayslake on June 10.
Gaylor said both canines and their handlers have been in service since then.
They will receive continual follow-up training through TOPS for various patrol functions, including article and building searches, narcotics detection and tracking capabilities, Gaylor said.
TOPS has been training police canines at their facility for many years.
There are upwards of at least 40 police canines on the street throughout Lake, Cook, McHenry and Kenosha counties trained through TOPS.