Porter City Council votes to disband K-9 unit, again

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Updated: 8/19/2013 8:36 pm Published: 8/19/2013 2:47 pm

A police dog was fired again in Porter and his handler quit on Monday.

FOX23 News has been following this story since last month when City Council members reinstated the police K-9 unit, but they fired him again Monday.
Porter residents warned they would work to fire trustees.

"We will get another petition together to show that you are not representing the town," said Dustin Allen.

A former Porter trustee also voiced her opinion at Monday's special meeting.

"That's your job, is decide what is best for this town. It’s not what you want," said Bradah Littlefield.

A grandmother impacted by drugs wept as she pleaded for the council to keep the drug dog.

"If you had a family member burned up with meth you would want to anything you could do in this town to deter the drugs," said Sharon Payne.

A husband whose wife works at the bank in town and is also a father also defended the K-9 unit.

"Whether that dog has anything to do with keeping someone from robbing that bank or keeping my kids off of dope, if it just might keep a kid off dope you need to keep him, you need to keep him," said Dustin Allen.

Several people fought to keep Q on the force.

"You would do anything you could do to deter drugs," said Payne.

Since Q came on the department in October 2012, he has been hired, fired, rehired and fired again.

His Handler Officer Lee Phillips said he spent about $20,000 of his own money to train Q and more. After Monday's vote, he resigned from the department.

Trustees against the K-9 unit questioned Phillips spending money on gas to keep the car on to cool the dog.

"I am getting a lot of calls, I'm talking everyday of people asking, 'Why do we have a dog and spending money?'" said Trustee Brent Fatkin.

Trustee Ron Hart says he is also getting calls about not wanting the dog. In June he voted to terminate the K-9 unit but in July voted to reinstate it because he thought it was the best thing to do. He made the motion to terminate the dog for Monday's special meeting.

"We are doing what the people are telling us what to do," said Hart.

However, those who did not want the dog did not voice their opinion at the meeting. Former councilor Bradah Littlefield was a trustee for more than a decade and told the council she encouraged anyone with a concern to voice it at council.

"You need to bring yourself to the city council meeting," said Littlfield.

After a half hour, the vote was final and Q lost his job.

"The dog is suspended immediately," said Mayor Richard Keck.

The mayor was the only trustee who voted against terminating the K-9 unit. Vice Mayor Dennis Holmes and Trustees Ron hart and Brent Fatkin approved disbanding the K-9 unit.

Trustee Steve Rush was absent.

"They can say all day long that is over but it is not," said Payne. "I am a fighter and I will not shut my mouth."

The mayor said he was finished debating the issue, however, there is a question of legality in the first vote in June to terminate the K-9 unit.

Trustee Ron Hart put the item to terminate K-9 on the special meeting agenda for Monday. He cited July's vote as a violation of city ordinance section 2-104, C-2.

FOX23 News went to City Hall to review the ordinance that states: “A motion to reconsider any of the proceedings of the board shall not be entertained unless it is made by a member who previously voted in the majority."

In July, Mayor Keck put the item on the agenda to reinstate the K9. He voted against terminating the K-9 unit in June.

Trustee Brent Fatkin put the item on the agenda to terminate the K-9 unit in June. However, there is a question of legality in the votes since the original vote to create the K-9 unit was approved in October 2012. Keck is the only trustee who voted and approved the K-9 unit in October 2012.

June 6 vote to terminate K-9 unit contract:
Yea: Vice Mayor Dennis Holmes and Trustees Brent Fatkin, Ron Hart.
Nay: Mayor Richard Keck
*Trustee Steve Rush was not present

July 3 vote to reinstate K-9 contract:
Yea: Mayor Richard Keck, Trustees Ron Hart and Steve Rush
Nay: Vice Mayor Dennis Holmes and Trustee Brent Fatkin

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

PorterPeach4 - 8/20/2013 4:28 PM
0 Votes
If peatree was soo wonderful, why isn't he still there!! That's right, cause he was a fraud!! Why should he get paid for a half-ass job and the PPD not!! That's why the chief asked for the contract!!

PorterPeach4 - 8/20/2013 4:25 PM
0 Votes
Our canine has never been to I 40 doing a drug bust that's made up. You don't know what you talking about with the drug dog and the police department and the school. Why do people get on here and run their mouth when they clearly don't have any clue!! Yeah we are a small town but we still have crime. Why get rid of something that works and is FREE!! Good luck to Phillips and Quattro!

kiss75 - 8/20/2013 3:59 PM
0 Votes
I have been at every meeting and i know for a fact that the police chief asked the school for a monitary contract for the dog to come to the school...the county has been doing the drug dog searches with officer peatree at the school and he is very good with the kids. I do know what im talking about.

PorterPeach4 - 8/20/2013 3:48 PM
0 Votes
@kissa$$75, You can't possibly have been to all the meetings I have been to all the meetings you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about

ol grumpy - 8/20/2013 12:58 PM
0 Votes
Why would an officer spend more money than his annual salary to train a dog? Why does a town with a population of 573 even need 3 officers, let alone a drug sniffing dog? Most towns of that size get along just fine without any government and certainly no police force. This is what County Sheriff's Department is for - small communities within the county without resources for law enforcement. Much ado about nothing.

Briiland brat - 8/20/2013 12:48 PM
1 Vote
Good news, there's another police force that quickly seized the oppurtunity to employ officer Phillips and "Q".

PlainDarkSedan - 8/20/2013 8:48 AM
1 Vote
@kiss75 Then you get what you ask for. If enough like-minded people stick together, this would not happen.

Briiland brat - 8/20/2013 7:28 AM
1 Vote
He has worked the dog at the schools as part of his duties, he has not asked for payment to work the school.

Briiland brat - 8/20/2013 7:24 AM
1 Vote

Briiland brat - 8/20/2013 7:22 AM
1 Vote
It's all politics! Yes, he has been seen in route to and from work, additional k-9 training and the vet from his home, where he keeps the dog; that he pays for!!!!! Porter city council has looked a gift horse in the mouth, it's about time that horse bucked.
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