Bethel PD seeks to add drug detection dog to department

A drug-sniffing dog may soon be a part of the Bethel Police Department to help take drugs off the streets of Bethel, reduce drug-related violence, and saving lives.

The City of Bethel has an opportunity to apply for the FY 2022 Justice Assistance Grant, a formula grant for the City of Bethel’s Police Department in the amount of $14,170. The grant guidance requires that the governing body and general public be given a chance to review the application and comment on it prior to funding distribution.

The City of Bethel Police Department decided to pursue FY 2022 JAG funds for the purchase of a drug detection dog and handler/dog training.

“The Bethel Police Department and the City of Bethel are making a big commitment to purchase the dog, and assign an officer to work with the dog, care for the dog, and train with the dog. The use of a drug detection dog will help the Bethel Police Department and WAANT unit to take drugs off the street and therefore save lives, reduce drug-related violence, and ease the burden on families and friends associated with drug users and abusers,” states Information Memorandum 22-16.

The item is scheduled on the Bethel City Council’s next meeting, August 23rd, 2022 on the consent agenda. City Manager Peter Williams is the sponsor of IM 22-16.

The City of Bethel will contribute $10,180 in the first year to cover the cost of training, dog food, and dog supplies and equipment, states the memo. The City will pay all on-going expenses associated with dog care and training for years thereafter. A drug dog is expected to perform for ten years before being retired.

City Manager Peter Williams intends to sign the document, Certifications and Assurances by the Chief Executive of the Applicant Government, after the council and public have had 30 days or more to review the application.

“The drug detection dog program will help us combat narcotics, foster community interaction, and help families torn apart by drug use,” said Acting Police Chief Jesse Poole in his remarks on the memo.