EPD, just say no to drug dog

The Evanston Police Department strengthened its war against drugs when it received a $60,000 gift from an anonymous donor to reinstate its canine program.

Before the donation, the program was not a top priority for EPD, and the supplemental cost is an inefficient use of government funds that could be allocated elsewhere and is not necessary at this point.

For the first time since the mid-’90s, Evanston will have its own dog to search for bombs and drugs. All start-up costs, including a handler’s salary, will be covered by the gift. But Jack, the dog that is yet to be trained for the job, will cost taxpayers $71,500 the following year, according to a Feb. 28 Daily article.

But don’t worry, Jack won’t be biting the hand that feeds him: All of his food will be provided by the pet bakery Hungry Pup, even after he retires from the force.

There are many other ways EPD could use the funds needed to continue Jack’s program. It doesn’t need to create a new program just because it was given a start-up fund, especially when there are more pressing problems to be tackled. Although searching for drugs is important, the issue does not deserve tens of thousands of extra taxpayers’ dollars without their consent.

Jack will certainly outstay his welcome. And just like NU students, Jack will stick around as long as he can. In most cases, police dog training requires the dog to become addicted to the drugs he searches for, and it’s difficult to get rid of a drug-addicted dog. The EPD will be hard-pressed to find a family willing to adopt a dog dependent on marijuana and cocaine.

A police dog may be cute, but is it practical?