The Illinois State Police will soon lose one of their furry officers as a District 16 police K-9 officer is retiring.
Sergeant Eric Paulsen has been working with his best friend, Recon, for the past 8 years.
Now, 10-year-old Recon is being retired. After 17 years on the force, Paulsen is moving on to other opportunities.
“My partner, health-wise, is ready to retire as well. Recon has been a great work dog and it will be a transition to get him into civilian life,” Sgt. Paulsen said.
Sgt. Paulsen will transition back to regular patrol at the end of the year.
“Well, I’ve always had someone to talk to in my car, so that’s going to be a little bit different,” he said.
It’s a long transition for a working dog, but soon Recon will be just like any other family pet.
“Well, we’ve been letting him inside the house a little bit, kind of like a bull in a China shop, he just runs around and sniffs things, like he would at work,” Paulsen said.
While Paulsen says the past 17 years have been rewarding, he says he couldn’t have done it without the support of his family.
“My wife and family have been very supportive, over the long haul with my dog. It’s easy to get frustrated when they want to be out and they’re barking,” he said. “I’ve had multiple phone calls from my wife saying, ‘Your dog is barking.’ I very much appreciate her and all the consideration she has given me while doing this position, with the dog at home.”
District 16 still has other K-9 officers on the force.