Farmington animal control may become part of police department

Posted at: 10/23/2013 6:49 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Some animal control officers in Farmington could soon be under the police department.

It’s a move that could protect the officers, and help them get to calls from the community faster.

Rebecca Maynard has been an animal control officer for 24 years and says her job has become more dangerous.

"We were trying to retrieve a dog for rabies observation and the women in question who owned the dog pulled out gun and wanted to shoot us," said Maynard.

It’s those types of confrontations that concern the parks department. That’s why they want animal control officers under the police department.

"They’re kind of seen as security guards but now as a an element of the police station we think that going to raise their esteem in the eyes of the community there not just dog catchers," said Cory Styron, director of parks, recreation and cultural affairs.

Animal control won't become fully commissioned officers with the police department but they will learn skills that would help them if they are in a dangerous situation.

“We will learn how to use a baton, we will learn how to use mace, but as far as tasing and," said Maynard.

Some of the other benefits, animal control officers and police would use the same radio frequency, to make response times quicker.

"Versus having to call a controlee and the controlee would switch out to police department and those are minutes gone and those minutes things can happen," said Maynard.

The city council will hear discussions on this issue next month.

A final decision is expected on December 5.