Show support for the K-9 unit

Show support for the K-9 unit

Editor:

In response to the Mayors comment on my resignation from the Glendive Police Department. The city did not do all they could to keep me as the Mayor stated. The lack of progress with the K-9 Unit is not a result of changing my mind on a 5 year commitment.

The City of Glendive has had a huge turnover rate with officers leaving over the years. It’s mainly because the pay is low, training budget is low, and the health insurance is not affordable if you have a family or want a family in the future. The city does nothing to keep officers from leaving and unless that changes the high turnover rate of good experienced officers will continue.

I have worked with the City of Glendive since October 2016. Since the very first day I started my research in the development of a new K-9 Unit with the help of Kathy McLane.

There were many road blocks thrown at us from the very beginning by the city and despite all those road blocks we were able to finally get the K-9 Unit approved as long as we received the funding from the proper sources.

I do not reside in Glendive but I was told I would be required to relocate to Glendive if the K-9 Unit was approved. Due to personal reason I was not able to make that move but I was still willing to give the Department at least 5 years if the K-9 Unit was implemented and I could stay in Wibaux.

I decided to turn the K-9 Unit over to Officer Cagle who resides in Glendive and also has several years of experience. I believe that the community still needs a K-9 Unit even if it isn’t going to be me. Officer Cagle has expressed a lot of interest in becoming a K-9 officer and has agreed to reach out to the community and businesses in order to get the funds needed.

This community has a huge drug problem, specifically Methamphetamine. The Department as well as the Sheriff’s Office work hard to make Dawson County drug free but it’s a losing battle. For every drug dealer that is arrested another one comes to take their place. Due to the current state budget issues and it’s revamping of the criminal justice system and drug statues the courts cannot hold some of these people to the level of accountability that is needed to curve the drug problem.

By having a K-9 Unit it is another tool the Department can utilize as well as other surrounding agencies in order to apprehend those bringing drugs into this community. Thousands of dollars have been seized because of having used a K-9 compared to a single officer.

I believe the community needs to get together and show the city they want this K-9 Unit implemented before it gets swept under the rug. Some people have already started making donations for this program and I hope others will help as well. The drugs and the crime rate will continue to grow if we do not act now on this issue.

Officer Jonathan Lopez

Wibaux, Mont.