Former Gurnee Police K-9 Hunter | Photos: Gurnee Police Department

The Gurnee Police Department said they are deeply saddened to report that one of their retired police canines, who had seven years of service, has died.

The department made the announcement Tuesday evening, announcing that canine Hunter passed away.

Hunter retired in September 2021 after a seven-year career.

He was deployed 903 times for detection and patrol assistance, the police department said.

Hunter assisted 25 agencies with tracking and K-9 demonstrations.

He also assisted with building, human and evidence searches, leading to 162 arrests and over 500 indications of drug presence.

“Hunter loved to work and loved his community and family,” the department said.

“K9 Hunter will continue to live on in the hearts and memories of everyone lucky enough to know him. We will never forget you, Hunter,” the department added.

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In June, the Gurnee Police Department had two new canines sworn in, replacing Hunter and a second canine, Bear, that retired.

Canine Leo, handled by Officer Tom Yencich, and Canine Hawk, handled by Officer Travis Hitzelburger, were sworn in during a June 20 village board meeting at the Gurnee Village Hall.

The two canine names were selected after hundreds of children submitted name ideas.

A partnership with Gurnee Mills and Six Flags Great America allowed the department to continue the canine program after Bear and Hunter retired.