|Updated: 7/04/2013 1:38 am
||Published: 7/04/2013 12:06 am
The Porter police K9 unit and its dog "Q" is back on the force, but not after a heated city council argument.
"You want drugs off the street, get the dog back," said Porter resident Stephanie Henson.
Last month, the council disbanded the K9 unit for reasons pertaining to money, resources and liability.
However, during the one-hour discussion, the residents had more to say than the trustees who did not elaborate on why it got rid of the K9.
"I'm sick of this crap. This town makes me sick," said Porter resident Jeff Gist.
FOX23 News was there when Porter families who were fueled by emotion fought for Q, who was fired.
"There have been a lot of drugs that go through this town. That's the only way that you are going to get rid of the drugs is to have a dog here to keep them from bringing it to this town," said a Porter resident.
Q's handler, Officer Lee Phillips, says he's been able to better fight drugs since Q came on the force.
"If you want drugs in your town, then OK get rid of the dog that's fine," said Phillips.
Trustees questioned resources and asked the department use Wagoner County sheriff’s K9 unit for missing person and drug searches.
"It's a liability issue," said Vice Mayor Dennis Holmes.
After the meeting, Holmes would not go into detail when FOX23 News asked about the liability concern and said he didn't have further comments.
“Let’s get with the program," said Gist.
Phillips says he spent $15,000 of his own money on the purchase of the dog and training. The chief mentioned the only money taxpayers have paid is the $95 for a class and fuel to get to the classes.
"I want to help the community and I want to help the department I work for," said Phillips.
FOX23 News also spoke with trustee Ron Hart after the meeting, who says he originally voted against the K9 unit but reinstated it because it was what the community wants and he is concerned about drugs in schools.
The chief told the council the dog has helped and assisted in getting more than 20 pounds of marijuana in traffic stops.
"You have a community saying what they want, give them what they want or we will get you out on a rail," said Henson, a resident.
The Porter police K9 unit started last fall. Q is a 6-year-old German shepherd who Phillips says he's been training every two weeks since he was temporarily fired in June.
June 6th vote to terminate K9 unit contract:
Yea: Vice Mayor Dennis Holmes and Trustees Brent Fatkin, Ron Hart.
Nay: Mayor Richard Keck
*Trustee Steve Rush was not present
July 3rd vote to reinstate K9 contract:
Yea: Mayor Richard Keck, Trustees Ron Hart and Steve Rush
Nay: Vice Mayor Dennis Holmes and Trustee Brent Fatkin