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: 

Cause of Death: Poisoning

Age at Time of Death: Unknwn


Date of Birth:

Date of Appointment: 02 Apr 1981

Date of Incident: 09 Feb 1986

End of Watch: 09 Feb 1986

Date of Interment:


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Not Interred - Other
 Grave Location: Does Not Apply
 Interment Disposition: Cremated


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Not Listed

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.