Poulsbo reintroducing K-9 program to enhance drug enforcement

The Poulsbo Police Department is one step closer to reintroducing its K-9 narcotic detection dog program to help enhance its drug enforcement following verbal approval by the City Council April 17.

The topic will be placed on the consent agenda for approval at the council meeting May 1.

The K-19, an 11-month-old Golden Retriever, is expected to arrive in Poulsbo by the end of June, police chief Ron Harding said. The breeder is based out of Bellingham and has partnered with the State Patrol for 17 years. The department’s K-9 handler will go to Bellingham for a week to work with the dog before returning to Poulsbo.

The city is constructing a comprehensive approach to address drug use that focuses on providing assistance to those battling addiction and uses accountability as a catalyst that compels them to seek treatment, city documents read. In the past, the department saw that a drug dog and handler were effective tools in enforcement efforts.

The department has identified $15,000 out of its drug fund that can cover the immediate expenses of implementing the program, and the city may seek community donations to recoup some ongoing costs, such as dog food and veterinary care.

Other news

The council also approved a resolution regarding the sale of the former Public Work’s property on Iverson Street to the Poulsbo Farmer’s Market. The market has been without a permanent home since its inception in 2003 and has been operating in the parking lot of the Gateway Fellowship the last few years. Mayor Becky Erickson will now enter negotiations for the sale or lease-to-purchase agreement with the market, per documents. If Erickson and the market can reach an agreement it will go to the council for final review.

A Recovery Residence lease agreement with Gambit Recovery to operate the historic city-owned Nelson House on 3rd Avenue was given verbal approval by the council. The house was used for the last six years as a home for young women at risk of homelessness. It is now vacant. Gambit has multiple sober living homes in Arizona, California and Missouri and is expanding to additional locations across the U.S. The lease agreement with Gambit will be placed on the consent agenda for May 1.

The council approved a resolution authorizing city staff to apply for the state Recreation Conservation Office grant for youth athletic fields. The intent is to use funding if awarded for the city’s share of the Poulsbo Event and Recreation Center regional athletic fields. The grant includes a 50% match, which will be met by the Kitsap Public Facilities District, documents read.