Pontiac eyes dog park named for police K-9 Draco, killed with Casey Kohlmeier

December 11, 2013 (PONTIAC, Ill.)

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports a committee of Pontiac residents are working to raise money for the proposed park, which would be built on land donated by the city.

Draco Park would be named the dog handled by 29-year-old officer Casey Kohlmeier, who was killed along with the canine on Oct. 30.

Kohlmeier's mother Keri Schmidt says the family is donating about $4,500 to help pay for part of the $30,000 in fencing that's needed for the project. Organizers hope to raise more money with several fundraisers.

A 33-year-old from South Carolina is charged with aggravated driving under the influence for the wreck.

Kohlmeier died when an accused drunk driver plowed into his SUV as he was taking on extra duties 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

"Casey was lost serving the people of this fine county, and unfortunately, with Casey going the extra mile like he always does, this is what actually has cost him his life," said Dwight Chief of Police Tim Henson.

Kohlmeier was parked in the median of I-55 when a driver, allegedly drunk, plowed into his police vehicle. Kohlmeier and his K-9 partner of five years were killed.

"The family at least knows what their loved one was doing was God's work and doing the good thing for everyone," said Toni Hardesty, president, Concerns of Police Survivors.

After serving in the Unites States Air Force, Kohlmeier had returned to his hometown, realizing a calling he'd articulated at an early age. He worked every kind of detail from traffic to pro-active drug and gang investigations.

"Casey did that with pride, great pride, and I cannot put into words how fine of a young man Casey Kohlmeier was," said Livingston County Sheriff Chief Deputy Tony Childress.

"(It) tells you what kind of impact he and his dog and the profession have on this area," said Mike Stoecklin.

Jason Collins has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence. He was arrested the night after being released from the hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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