Perfect match: Handler and new forest preserve police dog
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org March 16, 2013 9:45PM
Will County Forest Preserve Officer Dean Klier stands with his new canine partner, Jullo, a German shepherd from the Czech Republic. | Brian Stanley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2013 6:42AM
Dean Klier had two desires as a kid — become a police officer like his father and spend as much time as he could with dogs.
After six years with the Will County Forest Preserve Police, Klier’s crossed another childhood dream off his list when he started working with Jullo earlier this year.
“Everyone on the department knew I was chomping at the bit to be the next canine officer, so I’ve been preparing. The Joliet and Will County sheriff’s police have allowed me to observe their training sessions for years.”
But the Dutch and German phrases Klier picked up watching the other officers turned out to be useless because the 18-month-old “German” shepherd was born in the Czech Republic and responds to commands in Czech.
In January, Klier drove a police sport utility vehicle to San Antonio and spent two days working with several trained canines before the instructors thought he’d work well with the dog they’d named Jullo.
“It means nothing but a first name in Czech. We’ve looked it up,” Klier said.
With Jullo already trained to track scents and find drugs, he and Klier have been learning to work together. After three weeks of practicing and bonding in Texas, they returned to start working in Will County’s 70 forest preserves.
“Every day we’ve done some kind of different training (like) laying a track,” Klier said. “It is still amazing when someone goes a half-mile away and he still goes right to them,” Klier said.
Jullo already has helped the sheriff’s and Lockport Township Park District police by finding small amounts of marijuana in cars during traffic stops.
But the puppy also has untied Chief Robert Murphy’s shoelace, knocked quite a few things from desks and unzipped a staff member’s fly while jumping. Lt. Tracy Phillips also was unhappy to discover indisputable evidence Jullo had gone in her office on his first day at the forest preserve.
“I could hear her yelling all the way down the hall,” Klier confessed.
Back at home, Jullo is getting along with Stella, the puppy Klier adopted just before leaving to get his canine partner.
“I knew I’d be getting him, but I was at a (pet) rescue event and she just batted her cute eyes and I’m a sucker. I had to take her home,” Klier said.
Besides taking a lot of walks, Jullo really enjoys riding through the car wash and chasing the tennis ball Klier usually has at hand.
“Happiness is a green ball,” Murphy observed as Jullo ran through the station chasing after one.
Though happiness could’ve been redefined when Klier recently brought Jullo to meet some children and adults at the Lockport Park District’s fitness center.
“We came up to the windows by the court and he had 300 tennis balls to watch. Everyone in there knew in two seconds there was a dog at the glass,” Klier said.