Mike Morelli, Alton PD sergeant, K-9 Jax, Ethan Kuehnel, Tucker Jeffries, Nick Garafalo, Drew Parres, Kurtis McCray, Alton PD captain (holding check), Brendan Rasch, Blake Smith, Jakob Schreiber, Connor Hinterser, David Goodwin, Chief of SIUE PD, Natalie Rosales-Hawkins, assistant director of campus recreational programs, Allen Averback, Alton PD patrol officer and K-9 Odin.

EDWARDSVILLE - Members of the Alton Police Department, both human and four-legged, paid a visit to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars Hockey team for a very special check presentation and thank you. The newest K-9 officer, Odin, recently began his career with the department partially due to monies raised during a January 12 hockey match with Trine University. The Cougars fell to Trine in overtime, but the police department that patrols the area where the rink is located won big. SIUE Cougars Hockey presented the Alton PD K-9 Unit with a $1300 donation.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

“We play on East Alton Ice Arena so that’s the connection we had,” said Connor Hinterser, the team’s forward and fourth-year SIUE student majoring in applied communication studies. Hinterser has been playing hockey since he was three years old. “It was a pretty close game, 3-2 in overtime, and now we get to see the fruits of our labor.”

“We auctioned off these special jerseys, with a starting bid at $80,” said Natalie Rosales-Hawkins, assistant director of campus recreational programs. “So there were about 30 jerseys that we auctioned off and once we covered all of our expenses, half the proceeds went to the team and half went to the Alton Police Department K-9 unit.”

Event sponsorship from Busch Refrigeration, Inc. And King Air Conditioning & Heating also funded the effort.

Article continues after sponsor message

“Our teddy bear toss was an annual game that we promoted every single year, but this year we decided to get a little bit creative,” said Brendan Rasch, former team president and recent SIUE School of Business graduate in accounting, ‘24. “Our former coach had a connection within the (Alton) police department and knew that they were bringing in a new dog. We said we'd love to fund it and would love to bring in jerseys that are representing our community. And it was really one of those things that helped motivated us to coordinate this night and to give back to the community in a way that has future impact. So it was really special to us.”

K-9 Odin is being mentored by K-9 Jax, who turns 11 years old next month. Jax is a dual-purpose canine responsible for illegal drug detection and criminal apprehension.

“Odin’s brand new and just worked his first two shifts,” said Allen Averback, Alton PD patrol officer and Odin’s handler. “We're training him in everything that Jax is doing: tracking, narcotics, apprehension, everything.”

Allen and Odin just graduated from the Illinois State Police K9 Academy. As for the SIUE Cougar Hockey team, players are eager to get back on the ice in time for next season.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality education that powerfully transforms the lives of all individuals who seek something greater. A premier metropolitan university, SIUE is creating social and economic mobility for individuals while also powering the workforce of the future. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Home to a diverse student body, SIUE is situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis.

More like this:

Apr 3, 2024 - "One Day, One SIUE" Day of Giving Planned to Celebrate University

4 days ago - GCHS Announces Elks Students of the Month in Granite City

Jun 6, 2024 - Edwardsville Community Foundation Announces 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Feb 22, 2024 - Bunker Hill High Football Star Signs Semi-Pro

May 10, 2024 - Suspect Caught With Meth, Fentanyl After 100 MPH Chase