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Boreal Community Media

Exclusive Videos: Introducing Eddy - Cook County's First K9 Deputy

Nov 07, 2018 07:45PM ● By Editor
Photos and videos:  Lisa Bauer, Boreal Community Media

From Boreal Community Media - November 7, 2018

Lisa Bauer, Boreal Community Media staff member, recently met with Deputy Paul Spry and K9 Deputy Eddy.

Deputy Paul Spry has been with the Cook County Sheriffs Office since May 2002. Originally from Cook County, he went into law enforcement after serving four years in the United States Navy.  When he first went into law enforcement, the K9 program is what interested him. Years later, he proudly became the first Deputy to have a K9 partner here in Cook County.

The idea and approval for Eddy came together rather quickly once Sheriff Pat Eliasen began the process of developing a K9 program for his department. Sheriff Eliasen put out an email to the deputies to see who would be interested in having a K9 partner, and Deputy Spry seized the opportunity after talking it over with his family. The company where Eddy came from is run by a retired police officer, who went to Slovakia to bring Eddy to the US to begin his K9 career.  

Once Eddy arrived, they trained together in the metro area for 14 weeks. During the training, there were 13 other K9s and handlers. Cook County was the only force at the training who did not yet have a K9 program, so they were still learning as they went and putting pieces together.  Deputy Spry said that it was a very humbling experience to go through the training program, as he was going from being an experience deputy to a rookie handler.  

Eddy is considered to be a dual purpose dog, as he is trained in both narcotics and patrol, where he can track suspects, find things, undertake criminal apprehensions, and handler protection. They became certified in narcotics while in patrol class.  Narcotics training was four weeks, and patrol training was ten weeks. Eddy became United State Police Canine Association (USPCA) Narcotic Certified while in narcotics class, then National Police Canine Association Certified in patrol.

Unlike most people who can leave their work behind when they go home, Deputy Spry takes Eddy home with him after each shift. He said that Eddy is quite social at home with his other pets. The commands used for Eddy are different than what were used to train the other Spry household dogs. Deputy Spry said that his other dogs have actually become a bit smarter since hanging out with Eddy and have picked up on some of the commands used when working with Eddy. Eddy is considered part of the Spry family and interacts with everyone at home. Deputy Spry said that they have good and bad days. Together they face challenges because Eddy doesn't always want to listen.  When he isn't on duty, Eddy loves to play, play, play and even cuddle.  According to Deputy Spry, "You would never know by looking at him that he can do the things he can do because he is such a social, friendly dog".

Inside the patrol unit, Eddy has his own special cargo area that is designed to withstand a rollover. There are sensors for heat and cold, to ensure that his Eddy's body temperature is always kept at comfortable and safe levels. Training is continual with Eddy.  The USPCA recommends 16 hours a month of training.  Deputy Spry and Eddy travel to Duluth monthly to meet with other Arrowhead Region K9 Teams to train. Eddy's actual length of duty with the department is dependent on his health, particularly how long his bones and joints hold up.  

Thank you for your service, Deputy Spry and Eddy!

To learn more about the Cook County Sheriff Office, follow this link:

Eddy demonstrates his strength at a staged traffic stop (with Deputy Lunde in the bite suit)

Eddy shows Deputy Lunde (in the bite suit) that it's best to obey his handler's orders

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here