Death Classification: Canine / Equine Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 4 years, 10 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Field Services - Patrol Division: Unit 058 - Task Force Canine
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Location of Occurrence: 5020 South State Street
Cause of Death: Poisoning
Age at Time of Death: Unknwn
Date of Birth:
Date of Appointment: 1981
Date of Incident: 09 Feb 1986
End of Watch: 09 Feb 1986
Date of Interment: 11 May 1834
Cemetery: Not Interred - Other
Grave Location: Does Not Apply
Interment Disposition: Cremated
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Memorialized
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: Did Not Serve
Incident & Biographic Details
Police Canine MAX II, aged 9 years, was a 4 year, 10 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Field Services – Patrol Division: Unit 058 – Task Force Canine.
On February 9, 1986, K-9 MAX and his handler, Patrolman Charles R. Nork, responded to the State Food Plaza located at 5020 South State Street. They were there to track a burglar. While sniffing between the boxes and cans, K-9 MAX either licked or inhaled Sodium Fluoroacetate, a poison exterminators are forbidden to use because although it swiftly kills rats, it also kills dogs and people.
The powdered poison that killed K-9 MAX, known as 1080, was placed in the store by Charles Whitsett, who used it in an illegal exterminating business he operated out of his house located at 10909 South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Whitsett would dip slices of hot dog in the powder and scatter them across the floor. In August 1984, Circuit Court Judge Anthony J. Scotillo ordered Whitsett to stop operating King Exterminating and using the illegal poison. A few months later Whitsett was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $250 for using the poison. But soon after, Whitsett now operating under a new name, Empire Exterminating Service, continued leaving hot dog slices powdered with 10-80 also known as Sodium Flouroacetate. The poison claimed its first victim Police Canine Duke also hunting for a burglar in a grocery store. After K-9 MAX was killed and 1080 was found at other sites, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office brought criminal contempt charges against Whitsett for allegedly disobeying the court order.
Police Canine MAX II received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 2, 1981. He graduated from the Police Canine Training Academy on June 24, 1981. He earned 2 Honorable Mentions during his career. K-9 MAX also went through an additional six week training program and became a Narcotics Trained Dog. He worked extensively at O’Hare International Airport to sniff luggage and parcels for the DEA.
K-9 MAX II was survived by his handler, Patrolman Charles R. Nork.