Nevada City Council approves canine study |

Nevada City Council approves canine study

The Nevada City Police Department will be evaluating the costs, benefits and procedures associated with obtaining a canine unit, after getting approval from the city council Wednesday night.

The nearest full-time canine unit is in Truckee, according to the staff report, but officers say that’s too far away for practical purposes.

They foresee using the dog in drug enforcement, but it could also be a significant resource in the pursuit of suspects in flight or missing persons cases. It would also be useful during community outreach events.

“We want it to be the community’s dog,” said officer Scott Goin.

Goin said the NCPD conducted a citizen survey in 2012, and 76 percent of respondents said there was visible possession and use of drugs in Nevada City.

“A drug canine would combat not only the drug usage, but it would also be used as a tool to assist us in apprehending burglars and suspects,” Goin said.

The idea met with unanimous support from the council, though Duane Strawser and Evans Phelps were both absent from Wednesday night’s meeting.

“I think we’re in agreement here that any resources and tools you can use to augment officer safety is a very good thing,” said Mayor Terri Andersen.

The NCPD had a canine unit in the mid- to late-1990s, but that dog was never replaced after it suffered medical complications and died.

The council also approved city staff’s response to the Nevada County grand jury’s report on consolidating fire districts — which agrees with certain points made by the grand jury but refutes others.

Specifically, they disagree with the assertion that steps should be taken to reorganize each of western Nevada County’s fire districts under a single fire authority.

“We believe that the ideas identified by the grand jury are good ideas, and we acknowledge that,” City Manager Mark Prestwich said. “We’re willing to continue to seek opportunities for cost savings, but at the same time we want to make sure that emergency response times are not compromised.”

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to or call 530-477-4230.

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