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Stickney Mayor Jeff Walik (from left), Stickney Police Chief James Sassetti, Stickney K-9 Officer Rececca Maday, Ali, Forest View Police Chief Steven Stelter, Forest View Village Adminstrator Michael Dropka. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Stickney Mayor Jeff Walik (from left), Stickney Police Chief James Sassetti, Stickney K-9 Officer Rececca Maday, Ali, Forest View Police Chief Steven Stelter, Forest View Village Adminstrator Michael Dropka. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Forest View trades K-9 officer to Stickney

By Carol McGowan

After working with the Forest View Police Department, Ali, a 5-year-old male German shepherd, has a new home with the neighboring Stickney Police Department.

Forest View Village Administrator Michael Dropka said it worked out well for all involved.

“The idea came about because of our great relationship with the Village of Stickney,” he said. “It’s important to have a great relationship with the municipalities around you, and know the needs and wants of other villages, so that maybe they could help each other.”

Forest View received a 2019 Ford Explorer while Stickney got Ali and a 2017 Ford Explorer Interceptor.

Ali’s new handler is Officer Rebecca Maday. They been together since mid-January, and have spent six weeks in a certification and training program together.

Maday says Ali is a dual-purpose dog.

“He’s trained in narcotics, tracking, and apprehension,” she said. “Every dog has a unique job and purpose. Not all are trained to do the same thing. For the purposes of suburban police, most are trained in narcotics and tracking, but some dogs are trained to find explosives, firearms, or even human decomp. It really depends on what the intended use of the canine is.”

Ali is the first K-9 officer Maday has worked with. Being a dog lover, she jumped at the chance to apply for the position to handle the dog.

“I’m naturally a dog lover and I’ve grown up with dogs all my life (from a 150-pound Newfoundland to 25-pound terrier). Working around some of the other canines in the surrounding areas, I definitely saw the advantage of having a canine in our department. After talking to a few canine handlers, I found out how challenging and time consuming the position is, but, in my heart, I knew I was ready to take on the extra challenge.”

A few weeks into their training together, Maday remembers talking to her parents and telling them that it was probably one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

“Ali makes going to work even more fun and exciting!”

Ali has already been on a couple of police calls. He’s done a few vehicle sniffs where he alerted to drug odors and officers in turn, found marijuana in the vehicle.

He’s also helped out with crowd control. “Ali has already made me so proud in his few shorts weeks on the street! He’s really a great canine and we’re very lucky to have him as an officer.”

Stickney will also assist other towns if they are ever in need of the officer/K-9 duo.

“I am always on call, and we’re prepared to assist whenever and wherever we are needed,” she said.

Stickney Police Chief James Sassetti says his department, and the village are also excited to have Ali.

“We are grateful to Forest View Village President Nancy Miller, and Stickney Mayor Jeff Walik for their expedited assistance in facilitating this transition,” he said. “Our police department hasn’t had a police canine since the late 1990s. Officer Maday and Ali will assist greatly in our crime suppression initiatives along with engaging with the community. Ali’s demeanor is as such that Officer Maday and Ali will participate in community activities, thus extending that bond between the police department and our community.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity from Forest View to accept Ali and now that he has completed his re-certification training, we inserted him into our crime-fighting and community policing initiatives. We also look forward to a collaborative partnership with Forest View in the use of Ali to further ensure safer communities.”

Officer Maday and Ali

Stickney Officer Rebecca Maday and canine officer Ali.

1 Comment

  1. John smith on March 16, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    So Forest View traded a K9 vehicle with about 5k in equipment in it and a 10k dog, for a Stickney squad car? So does that make sense???Don’t take much to see who got the better deal on that one. So the question here is why would our village make a deal like this????



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