County Seeks Special Deputy Recent Threats Stress Need for Bomb Dog

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Filas

lfilas@@dailyherald.com

About two years ago, the Lake County sheriff's department retired a deputy whose sole purpose was to locate explosives.

Since the loss of Comet the bomb-sniffing dog, police departments have had to ask the Cook County sheriff's department for help. The wait for the dog to come from Cook County can take up to 90 minutes, police officials said.

And that's if the dog is available at all.

A rash of threats at local schools lately has brought the issue into focus. Police officials agree there's a need for a dog in Lake County but say they can't afford the costs - which start at about $20,000.

"There is definitely a need for a bomb dog in the county," said Grayslake Police Chief Larry Herzog. "Granted most of these bomb threats are pranks of some kind, but you can never be too careful."

Three times in April, the Cook County dog was too busy to make it up to Grayslake to check schools that had been threatened, Herzog said. He called multiple agencies for a bomb dog, but none were available.

He said he didn't bother to try a fourth and fifth time.

"What if one of those were legitimate and there was a bomb somewhere? …