Leachville City Council discusses vehicle for K9

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Leachville Police Office Allen Lasater shows council members photo of the Belgian Malinois in training that will be joining the department. The K9 is being purchaed and trained through donations. Officer Lasater will care for the dog.

Leachville City Council discussed acquiring a vehicle equipped for a police K9 unit at a special called meeting Monday, June 8.

"The special meeting has been called to discuss transportation needs for the K9 the police department will need," Mayor Ralph Wells explained.

The council had given the police department approval to raise funds for the purchase and training of a K9 to add to the department. Allen Lasater will be the officer in charge.

Police Chief Steve Lancaster informed the council the dog had been found and Officer Lasater and the dog are undergoing the training. There is a need for transportation.

"We have funds donated for the dog and the training but we need an equipped vehicle for transportation," Chief Lancaster explained.

The vehicle needs to be equipped properly for the safety and transportation of the dog.

Officer Lasater and a 22-month-old Belgian Malinois are being trained through Blue Streak K9 in Jonesboro. Lasater will be certified by the end of the month and ready to bring the dog home. The dog, Reno, is being trained in search and narcotic detection.

Chief Lancaster presented prices for equipping a vehicle properly for a K9.

One suggestion he discussed was trading Leachville's 2010 F-10 truck for a 2007 Ford Crown Vic belonging to Marmaduke Police Department. The Ford is equipped for a K9.

"We don't have money budgeted for a vehicle and the trade would be one way to get a vehicle at no cost to the city," Chief Lancaster said.

Lancaster will apply for a grant for a vehicle, but that will take a while and the need for a vehicle for the K9 is immediate.

"As the mayor and council, we agreed on the K9 but we did not discuss the vehicle," Mayor Wells said. "Allen can't keep the dog without the equipment. We want to do it right."

Following a lengthy discussion on the options, Council member Lisa Baldridge made a motion to trade the truck for the Ford but no second was made.

In addition to Baldridge, council members present were Ethel Hetler, Tommy Stone and Michael Webster.

Council members were in support of the dog and agreed the department would need a properly equipped vehicle for transportation, but they were not in favor of trading the truck.

"If something happened to a city truck, the truck could be used there," Stone said.

Webster asked Chief Lancaster to get a price if Marmaduke would consider selling the vehicle instead of a trade. He also asked Lancaster to bring equipment prices for equipping Leachville's truck.

"I want the dog," Webster said. "I am just not sure trading the truck is the right way to go."

The Council will meet again when Chief Lancaster gets the information.

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