“The dog is another tool on our belts,” Cross said. Officer Walter Moore is willing to become the K-9’s handler, he added. Cross said the dog will be approachable and “not terrifying.”

Mount Shasta Police Department will soon have a furry new officer after the city council on Monday approved funds for the purchase of a K-9.

Michelle Pillon, director of the Medford, Oregon-based Arthur R. Dubs Foundation, contacted the Mount Shasta Police Department several weeks ago to offer her assistance in obtaining a K-9.

After encouraging the MSPD to submit a proposal, the Arthur R. Dubs Foundation’s board of directors awarded the MSPD $76,022 in grant funding to launch its K-9 program. In addition, Mount Shasta Police Department Chief Parish Cross said the department already has $15,000 to go toward the project.

Several days after the department submitted its proposal, they were contacted with an approval, Cross said.

“Two months ago, we had a suspect fleeing the scene. We made threat of a K-9 officer, and (the suspects) stopped in their tracks,” said Cross. “The dog equals officer safety number one.”

During public comment at Monday’s meeting, a concerned citizen asked what the dog would be used for in Mount Shasta. Cross was quick to answer: he intends to use the canine for community outreach, search and seizure, and officer safety.

“The dog is another tool on our belts,” Cross said. Officer Walter Moore is willing to become the K-9’s handler, he added. Cross said the dog will be approachable and “not terrifying.”

When asked about lawsuits pertaining to K-9s by council member Paul Engstrom, Cross presented findings from a retrospective study from 2005 to 2013 where there were an estimated 32,951 dog bite emergency room admittances over that span, with only 1.1 percent of them from a police K-9.

It was unanimously voted by all present council members (Mayor Barbara Wagner was absent) to approve the allotment of the newly acquired funds to go toward a new K-9 officer – which will be either a Belgian Malinois, a Dutch Shepherd or a German Shepherd – as well as a new K-9 ready vehicle.

Sewer project funding

On May 13, the city approved a resolution to use USDA loan funds for a portion of the cost of the Mt. Shasta Downtown Sewer Collection System Improvement Project. The initial project had quite a few bids, and somehow ended up $543,000 over their adjusted amount.

It was recommended by City Manager Bruce Pope to call for a new base amount that the project cannot exceed. The decision to re-work the allotted amount was approved unanimously in order to complete the improvement project, which is currently underway on Pine Street.

Future business

The council’s next regular meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 9 and will feature a presentation by the Mt. Shasta Mountain Bike Association. There will also be a discussion of a potential water efficient landscaping ordinance, and a hazardous vegetation and combustible materials ordinance discussed.