GREENCASTLE, Pa. - For over a year now, the Greencastle Council has been discussing whether or not to eliminate the K-9 program for the police department due to financial reasons. After a long discussion on Monday, the council voted 5 to 2 to terminate the program and dispose of its assets.
"Right now with the tax load that we have with Franklin County and the Borough, my wife and I are pretty well strapped. If the tax base, the cash load continues to get larger we're going to be priced out of our home in Greencastle," said Frank Webster Jr., the Council president.
Before the Council voted, mayor Ben Thomas Jr. gave a presentation, outlining the benefits of the program and its annual costs. According to his report, the K-9 program is good for officer safety, drug prevention and community relations. He also added that it costs nearly $23,000 annually and is 3.4 percent of the police budget. But for some residents, the value of a K-9 cannot be placed on dollars and cents.
"You can't place a dollar value on public safety, officer safety, the safety of the citizens," said Bill Little, a Greencastle resident.
Little understands the financial burden of having a program, but knows firsthand the value of the K-9 has been to the community.
"If you want to take something out that has been a valuable deterrent basically to crime, you got to put something in it's place," said Little.
Going forward, Webster says he would be open to having another program if the funds can be raised without taxes.
Greencastle's previous K-9 Rony was killed in car accident back in December.