On Veterans Day the Chicago Heights Police Department introduced a Bomber to the community.
Standing at attention during the playing of taps, the new officer stood on all fours next to his partner, Officer Phillip Kostecka. Kostecka, who has been on the Heights police force for nearly seven years, found a new best friend in Bomber.
"He is from Landheim Training and Boarding in Dyer," said Kostecka. "They match up the dog with the officer. We spent six weeks in school together. Other K-9 officers told me it will be the best partner you'll ever have."
A five-star rated training facility, officers from all over the country come to Landheim to find their K-9 partner and learn how to fight crime with them. Kostecka and Bomber graduated from the school last Friday.
Bomber is the first K-9 addition to the police department in eight years, and Mayor David Gonzalez said he couldn't be happier. "One of my campaign promises was to bring back a K-9 officer to the city of Chicago Heights," Gonzalez said. "After eight years, we have achieved that."
Both the mayor and Police Chief Charles Guiliani Jr. proudly state that no taxpayer money was spent to purchase Bomber or to modify a city vehicle designed for a K-9 officer.
"The cost for this came out of the narcotics fund," said Gonzalez. "Before, when officers needed to search a car we would have to call other agencies to use their K-9. Now we have our own."
Guiliani touted the new addition as a valuable addition to the team. "Bomber is a multi-purpose officer," Guiliani said. "The dog is trained to track offenders, assigned to patrol and will also do some community relations."
Bomber will be on a schedule that will encompass all shifts, and he will be available to specialized units, aaccording to Guiliani.
Already, Kostecka and his new partner have begun their duties, receiving a call on Monday about a drug search.
"It's already started," Kostecka said. "We're here to stop the narcotics and track suspects. Time is a big factor in catching a suspect. This is a new tool the Chicago Heights Police Department that will greatly be used."
As Kostecka brought his partner out to the K-9 police vehicle, he patted the dog's head. "This dog is extremely loyal to me," he said. "He'll give his life for the officer."
Just then, Bomber gave a loud bark. Kostecka looked up and said, "Criminals, watch out. Time to be afraid."
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