Request for K-9 Unit has Barnes County at oddsValley City, ND (WDAY TV) - A Barnes County Sheriff's Deputy wants to add a K-9 unit to the department, saying it would be a tool to keep the community safe. But not everyone is on board with this proposal.
A Barnes County Sheriff's Deputy wants to add a K-9 unit to the department, saying it would be a tool to keep the community safe. But not everyone is on board with this proposal.
Just off I-94, nestled in the valleys of eastern North Dakota, you'll find Barnes County. A safe area, one that Deputy Scott Crump wants to make even safer.
Deputy Scott Crump – Barnes County Sheriff’s Deputy: "Any increase of manpower is needed in our dept."
Crump is approaching commissioners with a proposal for a K-9 unit. The dog would be trained to attack, search people and sniff out things like narcotics.
Deputy Scott Crump: "A small film canister full put inside a two story house how much manpower would it take to search that house, it would be hours with manpower unlike a canine unit it would be minutes."
Deputy Crump says there have been search incidents in the past year where deputies could have used a canine. But not everyone is convinced.
The Barnes County Sheriff's Department currently has five deputies. Some say a Canine Unit would stretch that staff even thinner.
Phil Leitner – Barnes County Board of Commissioners: "Do we have to add another deputy if we get this dog? If you increase staff to have this dog that $15,000 dog costs us $100,000."
Another concern: Liability.
Phil Leitner: "If the dog were to attack some person the county would be liable for that."
Deputy Scott Crump: "A well trained canine unit will not do anything that a handler will not tell it to do."
Whether or not, there will be a unit remains to be seen. Commissioners are still talking debating the matter and there's no timeline for making a decision. The North Dakota State Patrol may get a canine unit in Barnes County. If that's the case, the unit would be available for deputies to use, but it would only be trained to search drugs.