Two trained search dogs fired by Dillon Police Department over budgetary concerns

DILLON, Colo. - Because of budgetary concerns, the Dillon Police Department is cutting two trained search dogs.

Chief Steve Neumeyer told the Summit Daily News that the dogs cost thousands of dollars each year. The dogs and their handlers were also required to complete 10 to 20 hours of upkeep training each month, limiting the department's available staff.

"We're in budgetary restraints and there had to be an adjustment," Neumeyer told the Summit Daily News.

The two dogs will stay with their handlers as pets, the newspaper reported. The handlers will continue regular patrol duties with the department.

Summit County Sheriff John Minor told the newspaper that his office will make its canine units available to Dillon at all times. Those dogs are trained in narcotics detection, article searches and protection work.

Neumeyer told the Summit Daily News that policies will remain in place if he ever decides to resurrect the canine program.

"Is it cost effective, as a steward of taxpayer money, to have a program like that and not have any need for it?" he asked.