of Lincoln to purchase
K-9 unit; lock, stock, and dog
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[October 15, 2016]
- As the Tuesday evening meeting of the Lincoln City Council began
to wind down, Police Chief Paul Adams was asked to share information
about the police department’s newest officer.
Adams explained that the department is preparing to purchase a
scent dog for use in drug investigations. He said that the addition
of a K-9 unit to the city department had been stipulated in the
city’s agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police.
Adams had investigated the cost of purchasing a dog. In addition to
the animal, there would be requirements for a special K-9 vehicle as
well as training gear, and specific uniform requirements for the
handler. Adams said the normal cost for the dog runs between $4,000
and $8,500. The K-9 vehicle, new, would run about $35,000. He
estimated that with those costs plus the special equipment, the
investment to the city could reach $56,000.
However, Adams said that he received an email flyer about a dog that
was for sale in the city of Millstadt. He said the dog was a
three-year-old Belgian Shepherd named Ace. In addition to the dog,
Millstadt was selling the K-9 vehicle as well as the special
equipment used by a K-9 unit. The vehicle was a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
and the city was asking $15,500 for the vehicle and $6,500 for the
Adams said he contacted the Millstadt police and talked with them
about the dog and vehicle. In the end, Adams said “I shot them a
price of $12,000 for everything, and they took it.”
Adam said he and two of his officers went last week to meet Ace. He
said the dog is very well trained. They saw demonstrations of the
dog’s ability and his intentional aggression when commanded. He said
in general, he perceived that the dog was a good tracker and a good
sniffer. The dog also has a good temperament and was gentle and
friendly with the officers.
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According to city procedure, there is no requirement for council
approval for purchases less than $20,000. Adams said the purchase
had been discussed with the Mayor, and the decision has been made to
move forward, because this is a bargain purchase at $12,000.
He added that the payment for the K-9 unit will come out of the
city’s drug and alcohol fund, so it will have no impact on the
general fund budget.
Steve Parrot asked why the dog was for sale in the first place.
Adams explained that Millstadt is a small department. The officer
who has worked with the dog has accepted another position elsewhere,
and Millstadt is not going to replace that person. The city decided
to do away with the program rather than assign another officer from
the current staff to take it over.
Tracy Welch asked if there was going to be a need for officer
training for use of the dog. Adams said there would. He said that
Lincoln Police Officer Ryan Sullivan will become the dog’s
“partner.” The two will take training together starting in January.
On Thursday, Adams said that the deal hasn’t closed yet, so
Lincoln’s newest officer has not yet arrived in town, but he will be
here hopefully in the near future.