“The average service life of a police K9 is 9 to 10 years,” Whitaker told the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety this morning. “Our current dogs (Pako and Buddy) are both 8 and one of them is already having some health issues.”
Whitaker asked the B.O.W. members – including Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, Charlie Smith and Jeff Grose – to grant the department permission to apply for a $15,000 grant through the Kosciusko County Community Foundation to acquire a third dog for the department.Officers Joel Beam and Al Danko are the two current K9 handlers on the department. With the recent promotion of Beam, there are currently no K9 officers on the third shift and Whitaker said all of his officers on that shift say a K9 is needed just for the increase in drug cases alone. A third dog will allow for one dog per shift.
While dogs are mostly used in Warsaw for drug searches and tracking suspects and missing persons, and protecting their handlers, Whitaker said the officers are asked and do assist other departments in the county when called upon. Smith asked how often that happens to which the police responded, “I can get you those numbers, I don’t have off the top of my head, but it does happen pretty regularly.”
According to the information provided on the grant application form, the WPD indicated the K9s are always on call and are utilized on average about 20 percent of the time when they are off duty.
With the $15,000 grant, WPD could purchase a trained dog from Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind., and equip a third vehicle for K9 usage. WPD will be bear the initial and continuing costs of the K9 personal equipment, vehicle equipment, handler uniforms, certifications, maintenance and food at an initial cost of approximately $8,908.
The B.O.W. gave unanimous approval for Whitaker to pursue the KCCF grant.
In another matter, Thallemer swore in the newest full-time fire fighter for the Warsaw-Wayne Township Fire Territory. Brian Zehring has completed his one-year probationary period. His swearing in was attended by several members of the Warsaw Fire Department, WFD Chief Mike Brubaker, and Zehring’s wife, Jenelle.
The B.O.W. also:
- Accepted a quote from Gawthrop Excavating on the demolition of a condemned house at 415 N. Cook St. The quote was for $4,350. A second quote, from G&G Hauling, was approved to demolish a house at 308 S. Buffalo St. and an apartment building at 302 S. Buffalo St. The total bid is for $23,703.
- Accepted a 10th change order for renovation work on the new city hall. Thallemer said even with the additional $5,983 change, the project is still below expectations. The change is to address a roof drainage issue. On the existing building, the original drain pipe goes into the parking lot. A new drain will be installed and routed to the new storm line. The change also accounts for disconnects to be installed for the HVAC system per building code that was initially overlooked, and to replace hardware on an existing door.