Ripley City Chief of Police Brad Anderson addressed the Ripley City Council during the council meeting on Tuesday, March 19, concerning the addition of a K-9 officer to the Ripley Police Department.

Anderson advised the council of the benefits a K-9 would bring to the department. He noted a K-9 would assist in locating missing people, increase drug prevention activities, and increase the drug detection rate as well.

“It would essentially be adding another officer to the force,” Anderson said. “We could also use the dog in schools for education and drug detection purposes.”

The dog, a German Shepard, will come from Pine Grove Kennel in Meigs County, Ohio. They have been in business since 1999 and have trained over 450 dogs.

The K-9 is able to detect 12 different types of narcotics and would be beneficial for tracking, searching, and apprehension of suspects.

The cost of the K-9 is $11,500 and includes the dog, training, and certification for its lifetime. It would receive additional training twice a month and be nationally certified.

Anderson stated he has already spoken with stores willing to donate food and local veterinarians have said they will offer discounts on the dog’s care.

With the council’s approval, the Ripley Police Department could have the K-9 officer as early as April 15.

In terms of who will handle the dog, Anderson has selected Officer Ben Hart. Hart has experience with raising dogs and Anderson feels he is the perfect fit.

Anderson said the department is prepared to install a cage for the dog in one of the police cruisers that will be up to regulation standards for a K-9. The vehicle will also be equipped with a system that will open the car door with the press of a button, allowing the dog to be released when needed.

After a short question and answer session, the council unanimously voted to approve the addition of a K-9 officer to the Ripley Police Department.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the Ripley Police Department to assist with the cost of the cage and bullet-proof vest for the K-9 officer may do so by contacting the Ripley Police Department.

Other business discussed:

• Council approved the minutes of the previous meeting as read by recorder David Casto.

• The financial statements were accepted and approved for payment.

• Anderson previously reported six people were going to be taking an agility test for the open officer position on March 9. He advised the council only four of the six showed up for the test and all four failed. Anderson said the search for a new officer is still on and he will begin to review other applications on hand.

• Jim Mitchem reported all is well with the city water department. He also noted they continue to wait on a part from overseas to repair a piece of equipment.

• Doug Skeen told the council that the updated boundary information had been sent to the census bureau.

• Mayor Rader motioned to table the third reading of an ordinance concerning the Sewage System Design Revenue Bonds Series 2019A until April 2.

• Rader noted two people showed up for a public hearing on the sewer rate increase for July. Council then accepted and approved the second reading on the increase.

• Rader suggested the use of Professional Pool Management for the Ripley City Pool this summer. She stated the company would be in charge of the hiring/firing of lifeguards, managers, and concession workers. They would also be responsible for scheduling employees, monitoring the pool, and handling the finances and payroll. A flat rate of $8,500 would be paid to the company for the months of May, June, and July. Rader reassured the council that all employees will be local from the Ripley area. Council approved the suggestion under the stipulation that an agreement is written up and reviewed by Mayor Rader and Kevin Harris prior to signing. Rader noted she will have the company attend the meeting on April 2 to answer any other questions or concerns.

• Rader recommended that Chief Brad Anderson’s status as the Ripley City Chief of Police be made permanent. Councilman Anderson recused himself from the vote. The remaining council members voted to approved Chief Anderson’s permanent status.

“I feel Chief Anderson has made a positive impression,” Rader said. “He is a great communicator and I feel he is very concerned with the safety and welfare of Ripley.”

• Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 171.18 regarding court fees.

• The second reading of Ordinance 171.19 was also approved by the council regarding a sliding fee.

• Kevin Harris read Ordinance 171.15 for the first time since Rader requested it to be revised. Council approved the revision and first reading of the ordinance regarding a special appointment of a judge in case he/she disqualifies him/herself from a case for any reason.

• Rader confirmed June 1 as the formal opening of the Ripley City Park.