A North Chicago Police Department canine handler has become the only active accredited canine trainer in Illinois with a national police dog association, the department said.
North Chicago Police Officer Donald Florance and his partner Six make up the North Chicago Police Department canine unit.
Florance, a 19-year North Chicago police veteran, has been a canine handler for nine years with Canine Six being his second partner.
“K-9 officers are invaluable to the departments they serve. When the Canine is released from the leash it is known as a ‘track,'” the City of North Chicago said.
Canine Six recently located two subjects who fled a serious crash that resulted in injuries to other motorists. The apprehended driver was charged with multiple felony charges.
In addition to his regular duties as a police officer, Florance also serves as a nationally certified canine trainer.
There are an estimated 205,339 canine police officers in the United States.
There are only 41 trainers accredited by the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) in the United State.
Florance recently became one of the 41 accredited trainers and he is the only active accredited trainer in the state of Illinois.
Accredited trainers are volunteers who educate and help maintain strict standards among their canine handler peers.
“With K-9 numbers rapidly increasing in United States law enforcement, individual agencies must adhere to extremely high standards and training, oversight and enforcement,” the City of North Chicago said.