K-9 coming in

Opinion: Editorials

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The Landmark View

With the adoption of its 2018-19 budget later this month, the North Riverside Village Board is giving the go-ahead to spend about $31,000 to create the police department's first K-9 unit.

Such units are, indeed, valuable for investigations, especially ones involving searches, which is the dogs' primary function. The dogs can be trained to located people, items belonging to suspects, weapons and drugs.

The dogs are able to search large areas in shorter amounts of time than humans can, making them not only handy, but helping to save money in terms of officer-hours.

And there's no doubt, the K-9 units are valuable public relations tools. Who doesn't like a highly trained dog, especially one that helps fight crime?

That said, we'd like to make a pitch here for avoiding use of the new K-9 unit as a revenue generator, which is how we've seen K-9s used elsewhere, in addition to the valuable roles they play.

Simply put, we've seen some departments use the dogs this way: Pull someone over for minor traffic infraction and then detain them long enough to call in a K-9 unit to give the vehicle the once over.

K-9 searches of vehicles pulled over for traffic offenses ought not to be routine practice, but undertaken only if there is a very real suspicion that the vehicle is being used in the commission of some sort of crime.

We don't believe the reason North Riverside police would like a K-9 unit is to create a profit center. But we know the kind of pressure that can be put on police to generate revenue when municipal money is tight — like it is now in North Riverside.

The K-9 unit may well turn out to be a valuable investigative tool for North Riverside police; we very much hope it is.

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H. Bob Demopoulos from North Riverside  

Posted: July 17th, 2018 11:29 PM

Ladies and Gentlemen, once again the RB Landmark never ceases to amaze me with their simplistic thinking. If I may speak plainly, the Police Department has and always will generate revenue. It's first and foremost job is to protect & serve and by those very means they inadvertently generate revenue. When you have a very active Police Department that is pursuant to following the law by writing tickets (be it traffic, local ordinance or otherwise) they relieve the strain from that same Village's General Fund. For instance, our Police Officers performed stringent efforts to enforce the laws with respect to "Administrative Tows" has been so successful that it allowed the Village to implement our "Squad Renewal Program". Awe got all brand new outfitted squad cars because our Officers are rockin' it out on the streets. Not one red cent of your tax dollars were spent on this cause our Officers did a tremendous job. First priority is safety and security and then comes an inadvertent monetary benefit. How shameful it is to alleviate budget woes from the Villages General Fund in this manner. I was scolded by the RB Landmark during an election interview for wanting a "Traffic Enforcement Unit Program" with the intention of providing more safety for our fellow commuters (on major traffic arteries like 22nd St./Cermak Rd., 1st Ave., Harlem Ave., 26th St.) and the possibility of adding another source of revenue. Being a non-home rule town with limitations of generating revenues, we must contrive of various ways to make money in order to alleviate our large debts. I believe and agreed steadfastly with the K-9 unit for our Village on account of three major aspects

H. Bob Demopoulos from North Riverside  

Posted: July 17th, 2018 11:28 PM

1) An added tool to deter crime. 2) A community aspect that no other Village in the WC3 will possess. 3) Under vehicle seizures or suspected drug possession the K-9 is invaluable to get drugs and drug money off the streets. Writing tickets, bonding out offenders, administrative tows, drug busts and K-9 protection that will direct the purpose of serving and protecting the community. They also make us money?.Heaven forbid! Good Job NRPD! Love ya'll Trustee H. Bob Demopoulos Village of North Riverside

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