San Jacinto City Council approves funding for new police dog
■ Jacob Doane & Chris Smith / Contributors
The San Jacinto City Council unanimously approved funding to pay for a new police dog to replace the city’s beloved Wyatt who died recently from a rare brain tumor.
During a city council meeting held on Dec. 18, San Jacinto Police Lt. Chief John Salisbury presented “Waylen” to the council as a candidate for the vacancy created when Wyatt died. This presentation was met by unanimous approval from the city council.
The single question raised about the proposed purchase of the new K-9 was the cost. Luckily, Sean Motlagh of Tri-Lake Consultants donated a generous $5,000 of the $9,750 needed for the initial purchase. Aside from that cost, there is the cost of the several-week training that Waylen and his partner must attend before they are able to begin service, which comes to an additional $5,500.
On Nov. 10, Wyatt passed away due to an inoperable brain tumor after having served the city of San Jacinto since December 2015. He specialized in apprehension, tracking, and narcotics detection. His loss was felt not only by the San Jacinto Police Department but also by neighboring towns as well.
According to Lt. Chief John Salisbury, police K-9 units are “extremely effective force multipliers in high danger situations and are often the ones who get sent in to deal with the most violent of criminals.” Wyatt’s death left a void in law enforcement in and around the San Jacinto community. When situations arise in nearby counties, and the call goes out for a K-9 unit, they look towards their neighboring towns for aid. Since the passing of Wyatt none have been able to answer those calls for help in the same way.
Cpl. Jeff Hurd has been chosen as the handler for Waylen. With 15 years experience, Hurd is the best candidate for the job among San Jacinto police officers. The department has high hopes for Waylen as he scored a 432 out of a possible 440 on his final test at his training academy, a nearly perfect score.