Kane County Sheriff’s Sergeant reflects on 20 years of training police dogs

Citizens Police Academy of Aurora Alumni president Veronica Carter, left, greets Kane County Sheriff's Sgt. Nicholas Wolf, K-9 Academy supervisor, Tuesday, Nov. 14. (Al Benson photo)

“My passion is police dogs,” Kane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nicholas Wolf said Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Wolf, Kane K-9 Academy supervisor, was guest speaker during Citizens Police Academy of Aurora Alumni monthly membership meeting at APD headquarters, according to a news release.

Reflecting on 20 years of training police dogs, Wolf recalled past and current dogs he groomed. Under Wolf’s tutelage, Aurora Police Department welcomed K-9 Sadie, the force’s first bloodhound, in October.

After being paired together in July, Sadie and her handler, Officer Grant Weil, underwent an eight-week training program at the Kane Sheriff’s K-9 Academy. Training focused on trailing, following human odor. K-9 Sadie is primarily used for locating missing persons.

Wolf explained in the news release that searching a building with men may take up to four hours, but with dogs it only takes half that time. “Dogs have one million more sense cells than humans, and that’s why we use them,” Wolf said.

“Sgt. Wolf dedicated a significant amount of time which led to the success of K-9 Sadie and I graduating the academy,” Weil said. “His hard work and dedication to his program will definitely show as we bring these skills back to better serve the citizens of Aurora.”

The duo is assigned to the Community Oriented Policing Unit.

In his remarks, Wolf said he occasionally travels to Europe and Asia, including China, seeking top dogs for his academy.

According to Wolf, an academy goal is connecting dogs with appropriate handlers.

“Every dog has a unique personality,” he said, “they need to be trained individually. I can’t settle for a mediocre dog.”

He added that many smaller towns and villages don’t have a K-9 program within their police departments because it takes a lot of support, so he also helps to support them as well.