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MPD retires drug dog

The Maplesville Town Council recently passed a resolution to declare the police department drug dog as surplus, meaning the department will no longer use the canine officer.

Mayor Kurt Wallace said Tuesday the dog was costing the town approximately $10,000 per year. Costs included food and veterinary fees, but the bulk came with paying an MPD officer an additional eight hours per week to train and care for the dog.

Officer Corry McCartney currently serves as the drug control officer. He also puts in the extra time working with the animal.

While Wallace and the council are not totally opposed to a dog serving the department, they felt the cost outweighed the benefit of having it.

“It adds up considerably,” Wallace said. “Times are tough. My job is to look and see what ways we can cut costs around town without damaging our effectiveness.”

Chief Todd Ingram said the department was successfully making enough cases without the dog to merit its dismissal. McCartney told the mayor and chief he was just as effective on his own without the dog.

Wallace said, if pressed, the choice would be even easier if it was between keeping the dog or another officer.

“It’s one of those things if I’m going to cut costs, I can cut an officer or a dog. You know which way I’m going to go,” he said. “When times are good, you can afford new luxuries. When times are tough, you don’t do as much.”

The 3-year-old dog, named Taska, is a Malinois breed, a type of Belgian Shepherd.

McCartney informed the council they could potentially sell the animal to another department for as much as $5,000 to 8,000. The council has yet to declare a minimum bid to advertise. Wallace hopes to do so by the end of the week.