ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — On December 27th a Boone county sheriff’s deputy was making a routine traffic stop on I-90.
An alleged drunk driver struck the squad car. K-9 officer Loki was inside.
Loki passed away as a result of the crash. Now, a bill is making its way to the Illinois senate that would make it a felony to hit and kill a service dog.
The bill sparked by her death would include police K9s and all service animals under it. The bill shows the impact Loki had on the Boone County community.
“Her handler, Deputy Rosenkranz would come to our office with her, and she was beloved by our office,” said Tricia Smith, the Boone County State’s Attorney.
It’s been nearly four months since Boone County K-9 Officer Loki was killed in a drunk driving accident. While Boone County’s State’s Attorney Tricia Smith was reviewing the case, she realized no direct charges for killing a K9 officer were on the books.
“Our analysis of the law determined that there was a gap as to a reckless act that killed a K9 officer,” she explained.
Smith told State Rep. Joe Sosnowski about the gap in the law.
“They brought that to me and it’s a concern. Obviously, these animals spend many years training, thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars preparing to serve the community,” said 69th District Rep. Sosnowski (R).
“The actual death of the dog was not something they could charge the individual with, so that’s where the filling of the gap would be.”
In February, Rep. Sosnowski filed a bill that would make killing a police dog or service animal while driving under the influence a felony. Last Thursday, the bill passed the Illinois House. It’s now in the hands of the Senate.
“Loki was well known in the greater Belvidere, Boone County community, both working with law enforcement officers, but also with the residents of the community,” said Sosnowski
“Hopefully it’s something that will just raise awareness to individuals on multiple levels that people need to be responsible with how they drive, how they handle themselves, and definitely avoid drunk driving.”
Investigators say Vincent Millare caused the crash while under the influence. He faces charges including DUI and Failure to Obey Scott’s Law. He is due in court Friday for a status hearing.