Lake County K-9 Dax Receives First Valor Award Ever Given to a K-9
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce Deputy Ray Gilbert, Deputy John Forlenza, and K9 Dax received the 100 Club of Chicago’s Valor Award. The trio accepted the award at a ceremony held at the Chicago Cultural Center on April 25, 2019.
Deputies Gilbert, Forlenza, and K9 Dax were nominated for the award following an incident which occurred in 2018. The three were dispatched to a burglary in progress. When they arrived, Deputy Forlenza and K9 Dax were checking the area, while Deputy Gilbert provided cover to the K9 Team. K9 Dax successfully tracked the offender for approximately one-mile. As the three rounded a corner of a residence they encountered the offender. The offender then fled from them.
The offender entered a vehicle, that did not belong to him, which was warming-up in a driveway. He then attempted to escape but crashed into a tree. The offender then pointed a semi-automatic firearm at Deputy Forlenza. Deputy Gilbert responded by firing at the offender to protect Deputy Forlenza, who was maintaining control of K9 Dax.
For their heroic and brave actions during this incident, the 100 Club of Chicago awarded Deputy Gilbert, Deputy Forlenza, and K9 Dax their highest honor, the Valor Award. This was the first time a K9 ever received the Valor Award.
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “Every day I spend working alongside the brave men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, I become more and more impressed with their dedication, professionalism, and heroism. Ray, John, and K9 Dax are shining examples of courageous protectors of our community. These three faced a life-and-death situation and utilized their extensive training and experience to protect each other and ensure they weren’t severely injured or killed.”
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