Cops & Crime: How DuPage County sheriff's new bloodhound honors legacy of fallen deputy
When the DuPage County sheriff's office welcomes a rookie police dog to the force, it usually posts its photo on social media and asks for the public to suggest names for the new canine deputy.
But having seen the newest addition to the team in action and seeing he "is going to be something special," the sheriff's office decided it already had the perfect name for the 9-week-old black and tan bloodhound.
Jake was chosen in tribute to McHenry County sheriff's Deputy Jacob Keltner, who was killed in the line of duty on March 7, 2019, as he and fellow members of the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force attempted to arrest a fugitive at a Rockford hotel.
Keltner, a 35-year-old husband and father of two boys, had a strong connection to the DuPage sheriff's office. It's where he launched his law enforcement career as a civilian employee at the jail, and where his father, Howard Keltner, served as chief of corrections until his retirement. His brother, Zachary, currently serves as a lieutenant in the office's corrections bureau.
Howard told us this week he's thrilled about bloodhound Jake being named in his son's memory. He said he'd jokingly suggested the name to Sheriff James Mendrick for another canine, but they decided against it since that dog is female.
"I think it is awesome they are honoring my son," he said, adding that the family had dogs when Jacob and his siblings were growing up.
"Jake loved dogs. He was a dog person through and through."
It may be a while before DuPage residents see Jake on duty. He began a one-year training program on Wednesday. When he returns, his work will focus on trailing human scents.
Update on Keltner's killer
The Springfield man convicted in April of Keltner's killing was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, but that's been postponed until Aug. 29 at the request of his attorneys.
Defense lawyer John Beal wrote in court documents that he needs the additional time to review a 529-page presentence investigation report about Floyd E. Brown, which is "multiple times the length" of any report he's seen in 30 years of practice in federal courts.
Brown faces life in prison on his convictions of second-degree murder in Keltner's slaying and attempted murder for shooting at other law enforcement officers.
Life sentence 'earned'
Merciless. Malicious. Inhumane.
Those were the three words DuPage County Judge Brian Telander used in 2020 to describe Dominic Sanders when he sentenced the University Park man to life plus 45 years in prison for the 2017 killing of Andrea Urban in the kitchen of her Hinsdale home.
Now a state appeals court has rejected Sanders' arguments that Telander was too harsh in putting him behind bars for the rest of his life.
The court ruled unanimously July 7 that Telander didn't abuse his discretion in handing down the maximum sentence, siding with the judge's findings that Sanders, 35, acted in an exceptionally heinous and brutal way and showed little potential for rehabilitation.
Key to their finding was evidence that, while awaiting trial for Urban's murder, Sanders brutally beat a fellow DuPage County jail inmate, leaving the man with bleeding inside his skull, multiple rib fractures and a punctured lung. That attack belied Sanders' claim that Urban's killing was "a horrible tragedy, but not one that is likely to recur."
"On the contrary, the viciousness of Urban's murder was seen again in (the inmate's) beating," Appellate Court Justice Susan Hutchinson wrote. "We note, too, that the vicious and random targeting of Urban was not a mere lapse in judgment that can be dismissed as a 'tragedy.'"
Prosecutors said Sanders, now 35, was casing houses to burglarize the morning of May 4, 2017, when he broke into Urban's house because he thought no one was home, They say he savagely beat her and slashed her throat when she discovered him.
"I thank the appellate court for their thorough analysis of this case and their finding that a sentence of natural life plus 45 consecutive years is not only appropriate, but warranted in this case," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement this week. "The brutal, merciless murder of Andrea Urban destroyed a loving family and shook the entire community to its core. The appellate court's decision ensures that Mr. Sanders will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a sentence he has most certainly earned."
The Elburn Police Department will continue to operate out of its shared space at village hall, now that town leaders have decided not to seek a tax hike to fund construction of a new police station.
- Daily Herald File Photo
No new cop shop in Elburn
Elburn won't be getting a new police station any time soon.
Village officials have decided that, with inflation putting the squeeze on residents' wallets, it's not the time to be asking for a tax increase to fund a new facility.
The village has been talking for months about building a $10 million station that would allow the department to move out of its cramped quarters in village hall.
Helping a shelter
More than 1 ton of toiletries and $5,130 were donated July 16 to the Mutual Ground domestic violence and sexual assault shelter during the second annual Christmas in July drive-through fundraiser at the Aurora Police Department.
The effort was organized by Officer Will Whitfield, who became aware of the shelter through his experience with domestic victims, who often are forced to leave home in the middle of the night without any personal items.
Batavia Police Chief Dan Eul
Moving on, moving up
Batavia Police Chief Dan Eul is retiring this month after more than 25 years with the department. He was appointed chief in April 2017.
Mayor Jeffery Schielke announced Monday that Shawn Mazza, currently deputy chief of operations, will be promoted to chief.
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