The Kenosha County Tavern League awards a check to the Sheriff’s Department to help fund a new K9 unit at Bella Vita Banquet Hall and Convention Center Saturday. From left: Deputy Terry Tifft and Riggs, Sheriff David Beth, Bella Vita owner Brian Boeckenstedt, Tavern League president Jen Collison, vice president William Glembocki (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

Organization’s donation brings in new K9 officer

By Jason Arndt
Staff Writer

When the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department made the tough decision to euthanize its K9 officer in late November, the loss of Klaus left a gaping hole in its K9 unit.

Klaus, who served the community for five years, suffered internal bleeding and had masses on his spleen, which made him ill.

But the Kenosha County Tavern League stepped in to help, with a $10,000 donation to the Sheriff’s Department at its annual Ice Fishing Derby at Bella Vita Banquet Hall Saturday in New Munster, where Sheriff David Beth thanked the organization for filling the void.

“These dogs are for tracking and for drugs. Those are the two big things that they do. They are very useful,” Beth said in an address to the tavern league.

“This is mind boggling. I thought maybe they would donate maybe $500, a couple hundred dollars,” Beth said afterwards. “This is going to help us basically cover all costs on the K9 unit, we already reserved a spot for March.”

The plan, according to Beth, is to pair the new K9 officer with Sheriff’s Deputy John Lanctot, who was Klaus’ partner until the dog was euthanized.

With Lanctot’s training, grooming the K9 could take less time, Beth added.

“We already had an officer that had Klaus before, so he is going to get the next K9,” Beth said. “This is going to be huge for us.”

Before Klaus’ death, Lanctot and the K9 were active on the Interstate 94 corridor, and made hundreds of drug and criminal arrests from September 2011 until last November.

Additionally, the duo conducted demonstrations at area schools, including Salem Grade and Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated schools, Lanctot said at Klaus’ memorial service in December.

As the Sheriff’s Department awaits its newest partner, Beth hopes to have a K9 unit on each shift, he said in Saturday’s address.

“Our goal, hopefully in the near future, is to have one on each shift,” he said. “So, we are working on getting another one too.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Tifft, who partners with Riggs, said the partnership extends beyond law enforcement.

“The bond, I don’t think it ever stops,” Tifft said.

Additional donations
While the Tavern League donated $10,000 to the Sheriff’s Department, they made contributions to other organizations, including $5,000 to the Never Say Never Playground in Lake Geneva and $2,500 each to D.A.V., American Legion Auxiliary Post 2398 and the American Legion Riders.


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