McMinnville Police Department wants a K-9 Unit in the upcoming fiscal year.
Police Chief Bryan Denton made the request before members of the city Safety Committee during budget discussions. Members of the committee met to review proposed budgets for 2020-21 of McMinnville Police Department and McMinnville Fire Department.
“We think we need a drug dog,” said Denton. “We haven’t had one for years and we’ve depended on other departments. We’ve shopped around, so to speak. There’s someone within Cookeville’s police Department that we have a relationship with and we can get a dog.”
Cost is $8,500.
Funds for the purchase would come from the Police Department Drug Fund, a special revenue fund that contains revenue from fines from drug offenses, forfeited cash, and proceeds from the sale of property. That money cannot be spent on ongoing, operational items.
Monies can be spent on nonrecurring general law enforcement items, such as video cameras, sirens, radios, radar units, vehicles, handguns, etc.
“We need our own drug dog,” said Denton. “It’s been, maybe, 15 years since we’ve had one. We’ve managed. It puts us in control of the situation when it’s our dog.”
K-9 Units are considered highly visible deterrents to criminal activity. They are also used to locate illegal drugs in vehicles and buildings.
“You’ve got a guy on board who’s going to be the handler?” asked Alderman Everett Brock.
Denton replied, “That is yet to be decided. We’ll hold interviews for that. We want to make sure they are serious about it. We’ll make sure it’s the right person. We would do that from a current position.”
Reviewed were the proposed budgets for both police and fire departments.
Denton requested $3.66 million for the upcoming fiscal year, a slight decrease from last year’s budget of $3.65 million. McMinnville Fire Department’s proposed budget requested $2.58 million, a slight increase from last year’s $2.53 million.
Safety Committee members unanimously accepted both budgets as presented. Board of Mayor and Aldermen approval is required.