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Village could get K-9

Donations would fund drug dog

 

COAL GROVE — If the council of the Village of Coal Grove approves, the Coal Grove Police Department could soon have a K-9 unit.

In an interview on Thursday Coal Grove Police Department Corporal Mike Delawder said everything is in place to get Nero, a Belgian malinois, to be the department’s drug-sniffing dog except for the required approval of village council.

“We have a massive drug problem,” Delawder said. “Mainly he would be used for schools; to sniff lockers and cars in the parking lot. He’s not an aggressive dog and he’s not trained to bite. He is just trained to find drugs.”

Delawder recalled the case of Evelyn Robinson, a Detroit, Mich., woman who was arrested on Oct. 19, 2013, after cops found more than 300 grams of heroin in her 2003 Cadillac Escalade just three blocks from Dawson-Bryant High School.

“When that happened, the Ohio State Patrol had to get a drug dog from the Huntington Police Department,” he said. “If we had one, we could have assisted them.”

There are some outspoken opponents to getting the dog, however, one being Coal Grove council member Eric Holmes.

“Even though it is a great idea and there’s been a lot of money donated from a lot of great people it will be an ongoing cost to the, Village of Coal Grove,” he said. “We know it will be.”

Local businesses, Delawder said, have been very supportive of the effort he spearheaded more than a month ago. To date more than $13,000 has been raised through donations to purchase the dog, pay for training for both the dog and Delawder and set up a fund for veterinarian visits.

“This costs nothing out-of-pocket for the Village of Coal Grove,” he said. “We’ve had everything donated. The inserts for the cruisers for the dog to ride in were donated. A temperature gauge for inside the car was donated. I will personally take care of the dog on a day-to-day basis as far as his food and things go.”

Holmes said he’s not opposed to getting the dog, he’s just doesn’t think it should be done right now.

“It’s just bad timing,” he said. “From a financial prospective, we need to wait.”

It is anticipated council will vote on the dog’s approval at its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Coal Grove Village Hall on Carlton Davidson Lane.