An issue was raised as to why a Willard Police officer is allowed to drive a cruiser home every day. The officer is the K-9 officer. The cruiser he drives is 5-years-old with well more than 100,000 miles. It was converted from a patrol car to a K-9 cruiser.
The K-9 officer is allowed to take the cruiser home because of the nature of his work. He and his K-9 partner, Rexi, work nights. He is always on call and may need to respond to an incident as soon as possible.
The K-9 officer is the only city employee who drives a city vehicle home. Any city employee is allowed to live in Willard or in the four surrounding townships. Exempt from this policy is the city manager, who is required to live within the city limits. The K-9 officer happens to live in New Haven Township, which he is permitted to do.
The K-9 program was started with grants and donations from individuals, groups, organizations, etc. The purchase of Rexi was made possible through these donations and no tax money was used. The only exception is the K-9 cruiser, which was an older cruiser that was kept, as opposed to being sold at auction. This cruiser was intended for the K-9 officer and has been specially adapted for K-9 use. The materials used to convert the car into a K-9 unit were donated, and the officers donated their own time to make the changes needed to be able to transport Rexi. This program still receives money every month from clubs like the Willard American Legion and the local Moose Club which is used to sustain the K-9 program.
When budget cuts were made and personnel were lost, the K-9 program continued. Why? The program is funded through donations and any tax money used is very minimal.
Former Willard Police Chief