PERU, Ind. — The shared mission of fallen Officer Noah Shahnavaz’s family and the Elwood Police Department is to make sure Noah is not forgotten. Friday, a new part of his lasting legacy was given to the department.
The community Officer Noah loved so much will have a new four-legged officer patrolling in his honor.
”We want to honor him, and honor his legacy by donating to Elwood Police Department their next dog,” Ken Licklider said to raucous applause.
Inside the Milestone Event Center in Peru, the Vohne Liche Kennels owner annouced how they would honor Officer Noah’s sacrifice.
The annoucement happened during a gathering of some of the best K9 handlers in the world. Noah’s parents, Matt and Laurie, were there for the surprise.
”What we want to do is make sure Noah is never forgotten and this is just one way we can make sure his legacy continues on,” said Matt Shahnavaz.
Matt and Laurie said the honor was “tremendous.”
”We were so happy about it,” Matt said. “We wouldn’t have missed today for anything,” Laurie added.
The gift doesn’t stop there, the newest Elwood K9 will have a special name.
”We not only want to donate a dog, but we want to officially change that dog’s name to Shanny,” Licklider said.
Shanny was Noah’s nickname in the U.S. Army.
”Just to know there is going to be a dog out in Elwood with his name helping out the citizens of Elwood is tremendous,” Matt said.
The relationship between the Elwood Police Department and Vohne Liche Kennels goes back decades.
Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine said Licklider, the kennel owner, reached out with the idea quickly after Noah was killed in the line of duty.
”It was definitely heartfelt and appreciative of him doing that, you’re going to get me tearing up,” Brizendine said.
Brizendinie said the K9 will not only carry on Noah’s legacy in name, but in skill, as well.
”One of the things Noah was getting really good at was taking drugs off the street, so having a dual purpose narcotics dog out there is definitely going to carry on his legacy,” he said.
As they get through this terrible time – Matt and Laurie said they’re so appreciative of those who have reached out and honored their son, like today in Peru.
”Some days that’s what gets us through and keeps us able to get up right,” Laurie said.
Elwood Police will get to select new K9 Officer Shanny in a few weeks when the next Elwood K9 officer begins training at Vohne Liche Kennels.