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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • In Geneseo, K-9 benefits from drug forfeiture fund

  • One of the main beneficiaries of Geneseo's drug forfeiture money account is a German Shepherd named Bobby.
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  • One of the main beneficiaries of Geneseo's drug forfeiture money account is a German Shepherd named Bobby.
    Bobby has served as the Geneseo Police Department's K-9 for approximately the past five years.
    Drug forfeiture money must be used to fund further drug enforcement, and because Bobby plays a role in the Geneseo department's drug enforcement efforts, funds can go toward his expenses.
    "There are routine things you need to do with a K-9," said Geneseo police chief Tom Piotrowski. "We have vet bills, equipment for him and equipment for his vehicle."
    During a survey of Geneseo expenditures from Aug. 1, 2011, to July 31, 2012, a variety of expenses reported by the police department regarded Bobby.
    The expenditures included everything from $12 vet bills for the dog to the purchase of a $1,450 agitation suit used in Bobby's training.
    "The agitation suit is used to teach Bobby proper bite techniques for his certification. We also use funds for training batons and stuff like that. The money is geared toward overall drug enforcement efforts and the dog is a part of that," said Piotrowski.
    Bobby works with Geneseo officer Jamison Weisser and is the second K-9 in the department's history. The first, Carlo, worked for the Geneseo Police Department in the 1990s.
    In addition to Bobby's expenses, drug forfeiture money also is used by the Geneseo department for other drug enforcement efforts.
    In May, the department contributed $3,000 of their funds toward the purchase of a vehicle for the Henry County SWAT team.
    More than $2,000 was spent to purchase an air cleaner for the department's CSI room.
    Funds also have been used to pay local towing businesses to tow seized vehicles.
    "When we built our (new police station), we also used the money for equipment in our evidence processing room," said Piotrowski.
    While other communities in Henry County have nearly non-existent drug forfeiture fund accounts, Geneseo's stood at $83,223 at the end of July.
    "A lot of that is because of our joint efforts with the Illinois State Police," said Piotrowski.
    Each agency involved in an arrest receives a percentage of the financial total.
    "Even if the state police come (to the Geneseo Police Station) with an arrest and our police officers don't actually participate, we get a certain percentage because our facility has been used," explained Piotrowski.
    "The money allows our department to aquire more equipment for enforcement," he said.
    However, because the fund balance's revenue is dependent upon drug forfeiture money, "it's an account where the balance is unpredictable," said Piotrowski.

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