Currently, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office has a K-9 handler but no canine, and the Great Bend Police Department has a canine but no K-9 handler.
That is about to change, Sheriff Brian Bellendir said Tuesday morning, noting he is negotiating a swap with the GBPD. He was getting ready to address the trade with the County Commission.
In this deal, his office would provide a new Ford police interceptor utility vehicle to the police. This would be in exchange for one of the police dogs (Kia), the specially equipped patrol car and all the related equipment.
“This should be finalized in the next week or two,” Bellendir said. He just has to work out the final details with Great Bend Interim City Administrator George Kolb and Police Chief David Bailey.
He sees this as a win-win. The police get a new squad car and his department gets the dog.
Currently, the BCSO has to “out-source” to get K-9 services. It has called on the Stafford and Pawnee county sheriff’s offices as well as the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Also, “this will save us about $30,000,” he said. Just the cost to train a dog and a handler can reach $20,000.
The situation was created when Adam Hales left the GBPD to become a sheriff’s detective. Hales had been the city’s dog handler.
“This was his dog,” the sheriff said.
The dog, a Belgian malinois, is in good health and has several more years of service left in her, Bellendir said. Kia had been with the PD since 2013.
“It’s a good trade,” Kolb said. “We can help each other.”
Kolb said the dog is currently being boarded.
After the exchange, the GBPD still has one K-9, a German shepherd named Lazer. Lazer joined the PD in 2015.