Batavia PD moving forward with efforts to bring back K-9 program
Batavia PD may yet once again have a working police dog and on Monday, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch updated the City Council on efforts to reinstitute the program.
The effort includes receiving donations and seeking funds from Homeland Security.
It's been 20 years since Batavia PD had a working K-9 officer.
If approved, a resolution presented to the Council on Monday would create a K-9 fund in order for the Batavia Police Department to accept donations and funds from the federal government for a canine purchase, training and associated costs.
The K-9 program’s approximately $23,000 price tag was broken down by Heubusch. He explained to Council members that it will cost $10,000 to purchase the dog and $5,000 to train the canine and its police officer over the course of several weeks.
“During the regular workday, we’ll give the officer the allotted time for their training,” Heubusch said. “On off-days, we’ll have to compensate the officer for that. We do have some sample MOAs with some different unions to cover that.”
Additional expenses include $5,500 to purchase a vehicle designed to carry the canine, $2,500 for food and veterinarian bills, and $500 for incidentals and supplies.
Heubusch said the K-9 program will be like a specialized tool with a warranty. Beyond regular duties, the officer who receives specialty K-9 training would be called to respond when a police dog is needed for investigations.
“The officer is not dedicated to K-9 duty 100-percent of the time,” Heubusch said. “They would be on the road just like any other officer would be assigned to a patrol zone. We don’t have the luxury of just being able to dedicate an officer to that duty.”
Council President Eugene Jankowski said that, on occasion, the canine may be called for investigations that are not in the City of Batavia. Although it most likely would not happen often, the canine and its owner would be prepared to respond at non-city locations.
BPD is working on an agreement with the Homeland Security Investigation Federal Asset Forfeiture Program to defray some of the canine and training costs. Federal funding is not currently available due to high demand for border patrol canines.
Based on the positive feedback Heubusch received from Council members, this proposed resolution may receive approval at the August business meeting, which would allow BPD to be prepared for the K-9 program when federal funding is ready.