Starke County Commissioners Bless Inmate Work Crew, Defer Action on K9

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeInmates at the Starke County Jail could soon be picking up trash along county roadways under the supervision of a corrections officer. The Starke County Commissioners last night blessed Sheriff Bill Dulin’s plan to establish an inmate road crew of between three and five people to bag up debris for the county highway department to collect. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says it shouldn’t be a problem if the inmates stay in one area and Dulin coordinates schedules with him in advance. The road crew will not cost the county any additional money. The commissioners agreed it will be beneficial to the county in terms of beautification and making the inmates work.

Dulin also talked to the commissioners about adding a second K9 at no additional cost to the county. He proposes funding the purchase of the dog and it’s training and equipment through private donations, fundraisers and grants. He says the dog and its yet-to-be-announced handler would work midnights, which would cut down on overtime for current K9 handler and chief investigator Rob Olejniczak and his partner Terror. Dulin adds he’s spoken to the county’s insurance agent, and a second dog will only cost the department $75 more per year. He says a second dog would help to combat Starke County’s drug problem, and notes the county ranks highest in the number of meth labs per capita in the state. The commissioners agree an additional dog would be an asset to the county but want to consider the proposal at their next meeting in two weeks. Dulin adds he will not purchase the dog unless he is able to raise enough money to buy it.