Bartonville village council votes to keep K-9 Nitro, tables discussion to contact Peoria County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement assistance

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Bartonville village council looking for ways to save money

BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — The Bartonville Village council’s proposal to retire K-9 Officer Nitro from the Bartonville Police Department sparked outrage in the community.

Monday night, more than six residents approached the board of trustees dissenting with dissenting voices. Mike Lewis of Bartonville said getting rid of the K-9 would be detrimental to the city. “Our noses are good, but dogs are even better,” Lewis said.

Other members of the community echoed Lewis. They said the K-9 officer helps find missing people and criminals, adding it’s an asset to the community.

Bartonville Mayor Leon Ricca said board members want to retire the dog for financial reasons only. After passionate comments from the audience ceased, the board voted against retiring the K-9 officer and the crowd cheered.

Also Monday, the board tabled a discussion regarding plans to outsource law enforcement and emergency telecommunication serves.

Trustee Tim Carroll planned to propose contacting the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department and the county’s emergency telephone system board for contract services. If approved the board would ask both those departments to take over for the Bartonville Police Department. This was what they called a creative way to save money as they navigate a budget crisis.

Toward the end of the meeting, the board removed the items regarding contract services from the agenda. Carroll said that would have been a huge decision to make and a lot more research needs to be done before anything is finalized.

“We can’t vote on anything until we have the information and discuss it in [a] committee,” Carroll said. “I think before we do any decision like that we will reach out to the community and have some type of public comment.”

Carroll did not say when the items will be put back on the agenda, but they will be asking for community input beforehand.

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