Have a Bite with Oak Forest Police K-9 Unit

Patch Editor Lauren Traut volunteers to show readers what the Oak Forest Police K-9 Unit can do.

Officer Orry would like you to shake his paw.

Readers, meet K-9 Officer Orry, of the Oak Forest Police Department. It might be best you meet under these circumstances, rather than while Orry's on the job.

Patch learned that firsthand in a bite demonstration with editor Lauren Traut as bait.

Orry is a 7-year-old German Shepard who has been with Officer Jason Vodnik for four years. He is a dual-purpose dog imported from Germany, trained in narcotic detection and handler protection. He can track drugs, locate hidden suspects, and protect his handler.

Vodnik works with Orry once a week for several hours, running through various drills to test the dog's obedience and limits, increase his responsiveness and expand his skillset. All of the sessions include bite demonstrations, with Orry practicing attacks on a decoy covered in a protective suit. Orry's biggest successes include a drug bust that yielded 275 pounds of marijuana, and tracking down a shotgun used in a robbery, based on scent left behind on the offender's ski mask.

"Everybody's impressed by the large find, but I like it when we find 2 grams of something that someone else didn't," Vodnik said.

When he's off-duty, Orry has a home with Vodnik and his family. He enjoys his chew toys (a piece of the bite suit worn by decoys in training) and cuddle time with Vodnik's family.

Dogs like Orry, with basic training and accessories, cost approximately $10,000 to $12,000, Vodnik said. The typical career of a police dog like Orry is 7 to 9 years. When he hangs up his badge, Orry will become a permanent house-dog—and continue his role as guard dog for his family's home.

jim traut March 16, 2011 at 09:45 PM
lauren Now you know how bad the bite would be. Great job. Congrats love dad
LAURA DLUSKI March 17, 2011 at 01:17 PM
great job lauren, i'm sure it wasn't easy being brave...but, it's nice to see live action shots of how things are done with working animals, i'm sure there is a lot of time and work that goes into training them and the payoff is well worth the work, thanks for doing a great job
Toni Ruppert April 25, 2011 at 02:32 PM
This is awesome Lauren! This story caught my eye especially because Officer Vodnik and Orry are visiting the ART House this Thursday, April 28th. I was a little afraid for you for a minute during the video, but I see that Orry is well trained. Thanks for showcasing them in such a cool way.
Resident January 26, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Awesome! Pawsome!


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