|N. Baltimore police plan for K-9 unit|
|Written by By JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 06 January 2010 10:24|
NORTH BALTIMORE - The purchase of a K-9 dog for the police department will only come at the end of a very long process.
During council's meeting Tuesday, Police Chief Al Baer announced he is very excited about this year and expected the K-9 program to "take off as planned." He said he was telling people the dog should be available in summer.
But Councilman Jeff Bretz asked Baer if the cost of a K-9 dog had been included in the 2010 budget.
Baer responded more money needs to be raised for the purchase of the dog. He said the $5,000 grant the police department received from CSX late last year is not enough to purchase both a dog and its equipment.
"There's a lot to a K-9 program," stated the chief. "I'm very deliberate and slow to what's being done. Every avenue is being researched." He added, "Right now I'm in the research phase. ... There are a lot of issues that could terminate this program, but there is overwhelming public support for it."
He noted one rule in having a K-9 on the force is "just compensation" for the officer who handles it.
When Councilman Aaron Patterson asked if a K-9 could help control drugs in the town, Baer said the dog "is one of the best tools against drugs."
Baer presented former North Baltimore police chief Don Hendren to be sworn in as a new member of the force's auxiliary. Hendren is also the former chief of Bloomdale and Walbridge.
Baer gave a 2009 police report to council showing 4,030 calls for service for the year. Officers handled 275 disturbance calls, 230 house checks, 126 juvenile incidents, 126 peace officer calls, 128 suspicious person and 112 suspicious vehicle incidents, 125 thefts and provided 178 assists.
"I think the police officers did a fantastic job last year," said the chief. "I'm very pleased with the performance of everyone over there."
Baer noted accidents decreased by 20 from 2007 to 2008, and another 20 from 2008 to 2009. Burglaries were also down in 2009 from the previous year, but thefts were up a little.
Administrator Kathy Healy reported the village issued 33 zoning permits in 2009, resulting in revenue of $1,780. The permits included three new houses and three additions to local businesses.
"So we're growing," she said.
Healy also announced the village, along with Jones & Henry Engineers Ltd. of Toledo, had received an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio for the design of the sludge dewatering facility. The award will be presented at a luncheon on June.
The administrator informed members the Welcome Home program, under the auspices of the Neighborhood Stabilization program, has $900,000 available for first-time home buyers or a person who wants to rehabilitate a house in Region 2, including Wood and Lucas counties. The money needs to be spent by June 30.
Also during the meeting, council:
¥ Agreed to hold a public hearing regarding the new zoning code at 7 p.m. before its Feb. 2 meeting.
¥ Elected Councilman Tony Damon as president of council.
¥ Heard from a resident the burned house on West State Street is being renovated first on the inside as finances allow, with the outside to follow.
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