King, Ernst explain voting against PTC K-9 expansion
The approval to buy a second K-9 dog for the Peachtree City Police Department by the City Council April 16 came on a split 3-2 vote.
Councilmen Mike King and Terry Ernst, asked Monday about the reasoning behind their opposition, both said they felt the K-9 duty took away from time the officer could spend on cart path patrol.
Ernst and King said they were comfortable with having the one existing police K-9 unit, but they felt having two was a bit too much.
“I have nothing against the dog, and the dog we have now is great and the other dog was good,” Ernst said. “I just feel we need more officers on the cart paths and having a dog is not going to do that, by taking another officer away from the opportunity to work the cart paths.”
Ernst noted that the Fayette County and Coweta County sheriff’s offices have dogs the city can use when its K-9 unit is unavailable, and he noted that the K-9 handler at the April 16 council meeting said the dog was used an estimated three times a week for K-9 specific calls.
Ernst also said that in his experience with the police department, he felt there wasn’t enough of a need for the additional K-9 unit.
“I’m not against the dogs at all, I just don’t think we need two,” Ernst said.
King said having the second K-9 unit would prevent that assigned officer from conducting path patrols, which are important to him and to city residents. King said the second K-9 unit was a “nice to have” instead of a necessity.
King also worried about the potential cost to the city of more than the $4,000 cited by staff and the need for an extended period of training for the new K-9 dog and his handler.
“The biggest reason is we owe our citizens cart path patrols rather than we need another dog handler,” King said. “... Because it’s a 3-2 vote we’re still going to support it. You haven’t heard me or Terry carp about it.”