Local K9 officers hope to get their own training facility

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 12:49:28-04

“My dog and I have been a team for about four and a half years,” said Deputy Amanda Illuzzi.

Every day Sarpy County Deputy Amanda Illuzzi and her K9 Jazz go after bad guys.  But on Tuesday, a fellow K9 officer played the role of the bad guy. 

“Did she stay? Did she think about leaving,” asked Deputy Illuzzi.

Each Tuesday K9 handlers from area agencies get together for maintenance training.  They practice everything from detaining suspects to drug sniffs.  

“The biggest obstacle for us is figuring out on a Tuesday where we are going to go,” said Deputy Illuzzi.

Last week the Council Bluffs Fire Training Center doubled as a K9 training spot.  This week it was the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department. 

“Yesterday it was right up until about 5 o’clock in the evening and we still didn't know where we were going to be,” said Officer Jim Bartley.

Bellevue K9 officer Jim Bartley says it is great for the dogs to switch up sites every now and then, but he wishes the group had a permanent home to practice. 

“With that one consistent spot at least you know that it's always there and you can fall back on it,” said Officer Bartley.

Bartley says the City of Bellevue has already agreed to donate the old Sarpy County landfill as a building site.  They just need to raise the funds for the facility.  Bartley says it will cost anywhere from $100,000-$160,000.

The group of handlers say they are determined to get their own space sooner rather than later.

“The training for these dogs is so important that if we could get one less obstacle out of the way, it would just make things a lot easier,” said Deputy Illuzzi.

If you would like to donate to the Bellevue K9 facility fund contact Officer Bartley at the Bellevue Police Department.