Council OKs purchase of narcotics dog for JPD
by Ron Harris
Mar 19, 2014 | 2610 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chief Connie Cooner Rowe
Chief Connie Cooner Rowe
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Jasper City Council members approved a request Tuesday morning from Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe for funds to purchase a narcotics detection dog for the city’s police department.

The dog, a German Shepherd named Icon, is trained solely in detecting illegal narcotics. It will replace Gary, the department’s previous narcotics dog that died last year.

Since Gary’s death, Rowe said the Walker County Sheriff’s Office and Cordova and Sumiton police departments have allowed the city to use their dogs when needed.

“We appreciate their help, but we feel like it’s the right time for us to do this,” Rowe said.

The dog, which will come from Germany, will cost approximately $7,000, but the department has the money to cover the cost of purchasing it.

“It’s worth the investment,” Rowe told council members.

“We’ve looked at him and have pictures of him,” she added. “It’s almost like adopting a child for us. We’re really excited about it.”

Rowe said the department already has a handler in place, as well as a patrol vehicle equipped for a narcotics dog.

“We’ve mourned the loss of Gary, but it’s time to replace him,” Rowe said.

In other business, council members:

•approved the minutes of the March 4 meeting.

•presented Jeremy Pass, pastor of Jasper’s First Church of the Nazarene, with the 2013 Alabama Recreation and Parks Association’s Innovative Program of the Year award for the church’s Dream Team flag football program.

The program, which mirrors the church’s youth flag football program, is designed for youth and young adults with special needs.

•gave approval for a retail beer and wine liquor license (for off premise consumption) to FTDT Oil, LLC, which operates the former R.J.’s on Highway 69 South.

•introduced discussion of advertising in the upcoming issue of Walker Magazine, a quarterly publication distributed by the Daily Mountain Eagle.

•heard a report from city purchasing agent Derleda Abroms on negotiations for a rescue truck for the Jasper Fire Department.

•amended the city budget for $7,500 for a steam pressure washer and attachments for the city’s streets department.

•adopted an ordinance levying a collection fee for ad valorem taxes in the city.

•adopted an ordinance to change the intersection of 19th Street West and Frank Evans Road from a traffic light to a four-way stop sign. The intersection is near West Jasper Elementary School, and principal Rita Pilling favors the change, council members said.

•adopted an ordinance to rezone a half-acre piece of land located at 2804 Key Camp Road from MR (municipal reserve) to AG (agricultural) in order to zone annexed property.

City planner Keith Pike said the request to rezone went before the city’s Zoning Board, and the board OK’d the request.

•heard from Willie Moore of the city’s parks and recreation department, who gave a report to the council on last weekend’s SIAC softball tournament held at Memorial Park.

The college tournament brought teams from across the Southeast, and as far away as South Carolina.

•gave Mayor Sonny Posey their OK to sign contracts with entertainers set to perform at this year’s Foothills Festival in downtown Jasper.

The event is set for Sept. 12-13 in downtown Jasper.