A group of second- and third-grade students were treated to a demonstration of the Schaumburg Police K-9 unit's capabilities as a thank you from the department for a donation the children made Wednesday.
With the money raised by the students, all of whom are girls from Trinity Oaks Christian Academy in Cary, the department will purchase a bulletproof vest for the newest member of the K-9 squad, a 2-year-old German Shepherd named Apollo. The idea to donate the money -- which the girls earned from various fundraising projects -- to Apollo and the police department came from third-grader Hannah Brookens, who said the dogs help the people so the people should help them.
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Hannah and her classmates got to meet Apollo and his partner, officer Nate Miller.
The pair have only been together for four days, as Apollo was recently purchased from a specialty police dog kennel in Indiana. Miller and Apollo are set to train together at a six-week course similar to a K-9 police academy.
Officer Dennis Schmitt, who also works in the K-9 unit with his dog, Magic, demonstrated for the girls some of the things that the police dogs can do, such as smell drugs, track people and, most dramatically, defend the officer.
Sgt. Vito Rago acted as the criminal for the demonstration of Magic's jobs. Unlike an actual criminal, Rago wore a large protective glove over his arm. On Schmitt's command, Magic shot out of his police car like a rocket and in a flash was sinking his teeth into the large gray arm pad on his left arm. Magic's jaw was so strong that the dog stayed locked on, even while Schmitt lifted him of his paws. Finally, the dog relented, and the pad slipped off Rago's arm.
"And now he's ripped the criminals arm off," Schmitt said cheerfully as the girls applauded.
Schmitt then rewarded Magic by letting him play with his favorite ball.
"That's why he comes to work everyday," said Schmitt as Magic chomped gleefully. "It's to get that ball."