By Naomi Hatch
Snowflake-Taylor Police Chief Jerry VanWinkle and Officer Jared Leonard outlined a plan to add a K-9 officer to the department at the Sept 5 Taylor Town Council meeting. The council approved the two-part plan, as did the Snowflake Town Council the previous week.
Leonard previously worked for two other police departments as a K-9 officer and is a certified dog handler. He has done a lot of research on the K-9 program and made a presentation on the lease agreement between him-self and STPD to lease a K-9 for $1 a year.
The cost of a K-9 would be approximately $12,850, and the cost to STPD will be approximately $600 a year. The $250 veterinarian annual checkup and shots will be donated by Dr. Milton DeSpain.
VanWinkle explained that STPD has set aside $40,000 to purchase a vehicle and that money will purchase a drug vehicle that is completely outfitted as a K-9 vehicle for the cost of $35,417.25 under the state contract.
He noted that because the STPD belongs to the Major Crimes Apprehension Team, it receives $10,000 to $15,000 in Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations (RICO) funds from drug seizures to put toward drug prevention.
The council unanimously approved the agreements for the K-9 and the purchase of the K-9 vehicle.
The council also unanimously approved the ratification of an intergovernmental agreement with the Town of Snowflake, the City of Winslow and the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office concerning grant funding to maintain the Major Crimes Apprehension Team.
By Naomi Hatch