Proposed Animal Control Weapon - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Proposed Animal Control Weapon

Posted: Updated:

Animal Control Officers could soon be approved to fire weapons.
The change is being brought to the Waterloo City Council.

KWWL's Jessica Hartman found out why Waterloo Police and Animal Control think this is a necessary change and it comes down to time.

 Time wasted waiting for officers to put down an animal and time taken away from officers responding to calls.
 Right now, if animal control needs to dispatch a sick or injured wild animal, they have to call Waterloo or Cedar Falls Police to take care of it.

With an average of 40 to 50 calls per day . . ."So anytime they are out during they day, usually means there is something wrong with them," said Animal Control Officer, Ryan Doland."

 Animal Control is always crunched for time, not only picking up domesticated animals, but handling wild animals that are often sick or injured.
"He didn't appear to be walking drunk or anything like that. That's what we base it off of. If he doesn't have any oozing of the eye, any oozing of the nose, no discharge coming out him at all. This one we will see what we can do to save him," said Doland, talking about a raccoon with a broken leg that he had just captured.

 The raccoon is one of a few lucky ones that can be saved, but most wild animals that animal control deal with need to be put down.
  Instead of waiting on police, Animal Control officers could save time by handling the animals themselves.

"We want to get to people as soon as we can. You know so sometime we only have one person in the field. Its not easy if you have to go from Waterloo to Cedar Falls, while you could be waiting down the end of Cooley waiting to get an animal dispatched," said Doland.

The main goal of this proposed ordinance change is to free up police officers, so they can focus on their main job; keeping us safe.

"I'm not saying the task we're asking animal control officers to do is menial or minimal, but with some of the challenges we face in Waterloo, I'd rather have my officers doing something else," explain Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka.

 Chief Trelka will be presenting the ordinance change at the upcoming city council meeting on Monday.
  If passed, animal control officers would go through training and the department would purchase one .22 caliber gun. 
 The gun would remain locked in the office until it was needed. Animal Control would not be carrying it with them.

  Trelka says this change would only effect cases in Waterloo. Cedar Falls City would have to change their ordinance as well.  

Powered by Frankly