The Oak Brook Police Department’s most popular employee now has a finished office — newly painted and filled with essentials.
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Bandit, a 14-month-old Golden Doodle, arrived in Oak Brook a year ago from South Carolina to be the police department’s comfort/therapy dog and has been a big hit with everyone who has met him.
And now, thanks to a painting job by Butler Junior High art teacher Nina Angelillo, Bandit is settled in to what certainly is the most brightly-painted office in the building.
“His office was available before he arrived, but it wasn’t painted and pictures weren’t hung until later,” Deputy Police Chief Reid Foltyniewicz said. “We converted a storage room into his office. We thought it would be fun and functional to provide all his equipment, including his food, pictures, bed, etc. We decided this before he arrived.”
One wall in Bandit’s office is painted with bones that have the names of the past and current K9′s who have served in Oak Brook, said officer Katie Yager.
“We thought it would be nice to honor them in his office too,” she said.
When it came time to look for assistance in painting Bandit’s office, Oak Brook police used the same method as they did in finding a name for their comfort/therapy dog.
“As we did with naming him, we reached out to the community for assistance in painting his office,” Foltyniewicz said.
When police reached out to the community for suggestions in naming Bandit, students from Butler Junior High and Brook Forest School came up with the moniker. This time, it was Angelilio, the Butler Junior high art teacher. She worked on painting Bandit’s office, periodically throughout the past year, making trips to the police department when she had free time.
Angelillo said the idea to paint a mural in Bandit’s office was proposed to her last year by Yager, the Butler Junior High D.A.R.E. officer.
“I was honored to be asked,” Angelillo said. “As a Butler alum, Oak Brook resident, and now teacher at Butler Junior High, it was an automatic ‘,’yes without hesitation and the perfect opportunity to give back to the community I will always call home.”
Angelillo said she wanted the design for Bandit’s office to be welcoming, fun, and vibrant with touches that would make sense in a space designed for a dog.
“I appreciated so much the creative freedom the Oak Brook Police Department let me have in the space,” she said.” I knew I also wanted to create a mural design reflective of my own artistic style, which is so colorful, flowy, and abstract.”
“I worked on the mural throughout 2023, starting in January and finishing in November. It was truly a labor of love and a space I enjoyed coming to,” she said. “As with any passion, when one is immersed with it, they get lost in the process, and I spent many hours at the Oak Brook Police Department, listening to music, painting, and vibing out.”
The experience of painting Bandit’s office was “unique and wonderfully fulfilling,” Angelillo said.
“It was a plus that Bandit would poke his head in every now and then as I was painting, which was a great motivation to keep going,” she said.
The timing of the project proved to be and added plus for Angelillo, too.
“When I started the project, I had recently lost my family dog of over 16 years, Dolce,” she said.” I felt that this project was not only a passion project to do for the community, but a therapeutic project as well for me.
“I am really proud of what came together and the mix of personal style as well as tributes to former service dogs that are on the bones scattered throughout the piece. It is something that I will look back on fondly and am grateful for the experience.”
Foltyniewicz said Bandit seems quite pleased with his newly-painted office.
“He continues to love it more and more,” Foltyniewicz said. “He enjoys taking naps on his bed with the lights off.”
Foltyniewicz also shared a message from Bandit.
“I am trained to bring comfort and reduce the anxiety to all that I meet,” he said. “I love to meet new faces and attend community events.”
Yager said Bandit has been well received by the community and his followers on Instagram at @Pawfficerbanditk907.