Porter police K9 gets job back

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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

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

Unwashed Mass - 7/5/2013 12:15 AM
1 Vote
"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" Wow, how naive. The owner saying he's spent $15K training the dog should ring some alarm bells. Can these people really be this stupid? There's obviously a story here not being reported.

cpdbadboyz - 7/4/2013 10:09 PM
0 Votes
The vice mayor says the police dog is a liability. Must have a no pursuit policy also to say something ridiculous like that. A police dog is not a liability. A mayor who does not provide money for training to the police department who has equipment like a police dog, swat, continuing training, ect is. It's 2013 ........get real.

Stonedogz - 7/4/2013 3:55 PM
0 Votes
It was good to see a community 'out vote' it's stubborn narrow minded leaders. Most city council decisions are driven by petty affiliations and rivalries. No doubt that cop crossed one or two on the council and they decided to get even. Drug dogs are also an effective way of finding drugs quickly in a vehicle or residence that is why police departments use them.

Unwashed Mass - 7/4/2013 3:23 PM
1 Vote
Drug dogs are money machines. A police department along I-44 is notorious for it's drug dog which is trained to "alert" to drugs on cue, which in turn gives police free rein to search anywhere the dog "says."

Mayor Maynot - 7/4/2013 12:43 PM
0 Votes
Bow wow wow yippie ... Get a bowl that's hard for the dog to tip over plaster in gold finnings to the bottom add bottom cover. Every time the dog eats the dog smells gold. Take the dog gold prospecting. He might knooooooo
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