Good News Sunday: Meet Maverick, the Bartlett Police Department's newest 'facility dog'

Good News Sunday: Meet Maverick, the Bartlett Police Department's newest 'facility dog'

  • The Bartlett Police Department's new police facility dog, Maverick, with his primary handler, Sgt. Tom Alagna.

    The Bartlett Police Department's new police facility dog, Maverick, with his primary handler, Sgt. Tom Alagna. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted7/25/2021 7:30 AM

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

A furry new face can be seen around the Bartlett Police Department these days.

 

Maverick is a 14-month-old golden retriever and the department's new "facility dog." While most police dogs are trained to sniff for drugs, track people or help find bodies -- like Bartlett's police dog Luther -- Maverick's role is a little different. He'll serve as an ambassador to the community.

Sgt. Tom Alagna, who is the dog's primary handler, said Maverick will attend community events and connect with residents the same way an officer would.

"So far, members of the community that have met him have loved him," Alagna said. "He brings a smile to everyone's face ... people see him and they light up."

While his registered name with the American Kennel Club is a take on a famous line from the 1986 Tom Cruise movie "Top Gun," these days he's simply known by Cruise's character's nickname in the film.

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Unlike the character in the movie though, Alagna said this Maverick is "very calm," and spends most of his days sleeping in various offices.

Maverick's role is to provide emotional support during times of stress, grief or trauma for both survivors and officers.

He was donated by Canines 4 Comfort, a volunteer-run nonprofit in Round Lake. The organization provides service animals for those with emotional disabilities, oftentimes veterans and children, for free, if they qualify.

For the full story, click here.

Elgin woman establishing ECC scholarship to honor husband

Alicia Delgado-Lutz of Elgin wants to honor her late husband Tom with an automotive scholarship in his name at Elgin Community College. Tom Lutz worked for the city of Elgin in the sewer department for 21 years before dying from leukemia at age 58 last year.
Alicia Delgado-Lutz of Elgin wants to honor her late husband Tom with an automotive scholarship in his name at Elgin Community College. Tom Lutz worked for the city of Elgin in the sewer department for 21 years before dying from leukemia at age 58 last year. - COURTESY OF ALICIA DELGADO-LUTZ

When her husband died of leukemia at age 58 last July, Alicia Delgado-Lutz of Elgin wanted to make sure his spirit lived on.

She hopes an Elgin Community College automotive scholarship in his name is just the thing to do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Tom Lutz worked for the city of Elgin for 21 years in the sewer department. He loved his job, his wife said, and he loved helping people.

He wasn't just a good guy. "He was a model guy," she said.

His co-workers agree.

"He would do anything for anybody; he just wanted everybody to be happy," said his supervisor, Matt Mattingly, utilities crew leader for the sewer department.

"He was one of those people who always put a smile on your face, never seemed to have a bad day.

Lutz's passion for cars, combined with his handiness and desire to help people, gave Delgado-Lutz the idea of creating a scholarship for automotive studies in Lutz's name at ECC.

Delgado-Lutz raised $1,500 selling masks she was making at the height of the pandemic, and added another $1,500 of her savings. She approached ECC about establishing a scholarship and learned that, for $10,000, she could set up an endowment that would give a scholarship in Lutz's name every year in perpetuity.

"I want this to be a forever thing," she said. "I want it to live on."

For the full story, click here.

'Drive Out Violence' golf outing will help A Safe Place

Bob Boyle, left, and Michael Rosengarden are the co-chairs of the Golf Committee for the outing that will benefit A Safe Place in Lake County.
Bob Boyle, left, and Michael Rosengarden are the co-chairs of the Golf Committee for the outing that will benefit A Safe Place in Lake County. - Courtesy of Carol Levine

Domestic violence is everywhere, many times hidden in the shadows.

According to the A Safe Place website, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

One in 15 children is exposed to intimate partner violence each year. Witnessing such violence tends to continue the trend.

But A Safe Place, with offices in Lake County, has programs and shelters to educate, mentor and keep safe victims of domestic violence.

According to Damaris Lorta, chief development officer for A Safe Place, the nonprofit served 32,000 people during the fiscal year 2020.

To make sure these programs thrive, the organization is hosting its 19th annual "Drive Out Domestic Violence" Golf Outing Monday, Aug. 16, at Briarwood Country Club, 355 Deerfield Road, Deerfield. Various sponsorships are available.

To find out more, or to register for the event, visit asafeplaceforhelp.org/get-involved/golf-outing/.

For the full story, click here.

Donate school supplies to People's Resource Center annual drive

The People's Resource Center plans to provide school supplies to 1,000 low-income DuPage County students through its Back to School Supply Drive.

Each year, with generous donations from the community, the People's Resource Center is able to provide everything from backpacks to spiral notebooks to students at no cost.

The center is seeking the help of DuPage County residents to reach its goal. From now through July 30, drop off new school supplies at People's Resource Center in Wheaton or Westmont.

A list of needed school supplies can be found on the PRC website at www.peoplesrc.org/back-to-school-supply-drive/.

For the full story, click here.

• Good News Sunday will run each weekend. Please visit dailyherald.com/newsletters to sign up for our Good News Sunday newsletter.

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