City should fund cost of crime dog

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sometimes the best law enforcement officers on the force just need a good belly scratch.

They work hard, after all, putting their lives on the line for us every day.

But before you reach over to tickle the gut of Office Brian Seyfarth or Officer Shawn King, save yourself the embarrassment and look a little lower.

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Seyfarth and King will be some of the first to say that the kudos for a job well done goes to a different kind of officer — the four-legged ones.

Both officers have worked with Natchez Police K-9 units in recent years, but Seyfarth’s dog Rex recently retired.

The station has been collecting money to purchase and train a new dog — a worthy cause. The effectiveness of dogs in police work is a well-documented success across not only the nation, but the world.

Having a dog on duty in Natchez every day should be a must.

Thankfully a few local donors have contributed to the cause, donating $1,900 toward the purchase of an $8,900 dog.

Thanks go to those businesses and individuals willing to donate. We appreciate your concern for the community.

But it’s time city leaders handled this matter on their own. The cost of one dog every five or more years should not break the city budget.

The price of purchase and training is less than half of the annual salary of one officer. And, for that matter, less than half of the pay provided to each part-time alderman.

These dogs save lives, bust criminals and protect our community. They stand with our officers every day. Why can’t their “salary” be part of the budget?