In a matter of a few weeks, the newest officer will join the Great Bend Police Department. The officer’s name is Lazer and she is a two-year-old black German shepherd.
Lazer was selected by GBPD Lt. Bill Browne, current K-9 handler Cpl. Adam Hales and new K-9 handler Cpl. Shane Becker, said City Administrator Howard Partington at the Monday night City Council meeting. The selection was made at U.S. Canine Unlimited training academy in Kaplan, La.
The dog will be trained at the facility for five weeks, Partington said. After that, Becker will go back to train with the dog for five additional weeks.
The City Council approved the purchase of a second drug dog at its May 4 meeting. The reason was a sharp increase in the number of times Hales and his dog Kia were called into action.
The new dog will cost $14,500. There will also be $1,000 for Becker to be trained.
The report on Lazer was included in Partington’s departmental update. Other highlights included:
• On May 19, Lt. Scott Harper and Chief Cliff Couch attended a meeting with local law enforcement agencies at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, in reference to a new Dispatch computer system.
• The GBPD has started bicycle patrols. The city intends to utilize this extra form of patrol throughout the summer and fall.
• The Police Department is currently conducting an analysis of overtime expenditures. Couch met with the sergeants and corporals on June 1 to discuss ways to increase the department’s efficiency.
• City Inspector Lee Schneider is reviewing plans for the Holiday Inn Express and Cancer Center addition and remodel.
• Each shift has toured Bartlett Grain east of Great Bend.
• With all the rain, the department is trying to catch up with the pot holes and street maintenance. Working on intersection of Eighth and Morton and half block east and west on Eighth Street.
• Cleaned a Sewer line for the City of Ellinwood.
• Sanitarian Gregg Vannoster reported 443 year-to-date complaints, 38 new complaints (16 by Citizens and 22 by staff), 45 complaints completed by citizens, six abatement notices sent, six abatements performed, nine vehicles brought into compliance and 27 “Overgrown Vegetation” abatement notices sent.
• Community Coordinator Christina Hayes handled media requests for the KSHSAA tournament over 25 different media outlets from all over the state requested to attend the games to report on the teams they were following. “It was a great success and many compliments were made to our Sports Complex,” Partington said.
He also commended the Great Bend Recreation Commission and city’s Park Department for dealing with the wet mess and making Great Bend the only baseball/softball championship tournament to go as planned with dates.
“We are so proud,” he said. All the other communities in the state had to use Saturday and Sunday to complete their brackets.
• The Wetlands Waterpark has launched a new website to promote the feature. It can be seen at greatbendwaterpark.com for all the latest information on the Waterpark this summer. This was a joint effort between Hayes, her staff and Human Resources Director Terry Hoff. It’s mobile friendly and very attractive. Be sure to check out the Press Release going out this evening in regards to our new website.
• Held the Business Olympics for Claflin on May 25, 11 teams competed and it was a great event, Hayes said. Claflin will compete against all other communities this year at our Party in the Park Aug. 8 for the County wide face off. Hayes said they are still accepting Business Olympics teams for this Saturday.
• June Jaunt is this week. Kicks off Friday night with the Cruise Night and Car Show and also Movie in the Square. Saturday, all the activities are in the square.