HINCKLEY – Jason Johnson chose to train his police dog to respond to Polish commands because his family is made up of fluent speakers.
“My mom will talk with the dog,” Johnson said. “She loves it.”
Johnson, a deputy with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, on Monday brought his police dog, Odin, to Hinckley Public Library, 100 N. Maple St., to teach children about K-9 officers. The library’s summer reading program, “Paws to Read,” focuses on many kinds of animals, Lorie Stultz, director of youth services said. Johnson and Odin have been working together since February, and Odin is the first police dog Johnson has worked with.
“I just thought it’d be cool,” Stultz said. “We like to give [the children] as many experiences as we can.”
The children who participated were able to pet the dog and ask Johnson questions. At one point, Johnson’s keys were hidden in the grass and Odin was sent to find them.
“I like when the dog runned and got the keys,” said Mickey Probst, 4.
Johnson said it took 10 weeks for Odin to be certified. He is one of two police dogs with the sheriff’s office. Johnson said Odin lives with him, so he sleeps in his bedroom and works with him for at least an hour a day.
“Some days my pant leg is covered in his spit,” Johnson said.
When talking to the children, Johnson described Odin’s duties as finding bad guys, looking for bad drugs, and protecting Johnson.
“I liked petting him,” said Jacob Orin, 6.
Stultz said the next event in the summer program is a live bat show July 28 at the library.
• Two-year-old German shepherd
• Understands Polish
• 10 weeks of training to be certified
• One of two police dogs for DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office
• Works at least 16 hours a month
• Jason Johnson, DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy, and Odin have worked together since February
For more information about upcoming Hinckley Public Library events, visit hinckley.lib.il.us