The highly regarded K9 ClarkALTON - Alton Police said goodbye to one of their four-legged officers - K9 Clark - on Wednesday, June 7, after six and a half years of law enforcement work with two agencies.

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K9 Clark is 8 years old and began his law enforcement career in late spring 2016 with the Wood River Police Department. In 2020, Officer John Hoefert and K9 Clark joined the Alton PD.

The Alton Police Department said during K9 Clark's exciting career, he used his skills to assist numerous law enforcement agencies in the region with a variety of tasks.

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"K9 Clark has been part of numerous illegal drug seizures, has recovered critical evidence in different crimes, and successfully tracked a variety of dangerous criminals," the Alton Police said in a statement. "He has been a part of over 100 criminal apprehensions. Police canines are some of the hardest working dogs and are subject to a lot of dangerous deployments. Our dogs go into situations to protect human life and must encounter some of the most dangerous criminal offenders in the region.

"Police canines also assist our citizens in some less dangerous situations. In one instance, Officer Hoefert and K9 Clark were conducting a late-night check of a local park and encountered a few teens who had lost a cell phone. K9 Clark was able to search the dark area and locate the phone within minutes. For the last six years, K9 Clark was under the care of the amazing Dr. Amber Apaur of Hawthorne Animal Clinic. Dr. Spaur has maintained K9 Clark's every health need and was able to keep him in tip-top condition during his career."

The Alton Police thanked Dr. Spaur and the Hawthorne Animal Clinic staff for their care and concern.

"Officer Hoefert and K9 Clark, we appreciate your dedication and your faithful service," the Alton PD said. "Enjoy your retirement Clark, as it is well-deserved."

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