Greencastle Police take center stage at council meeting

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Greencastle police officers Keith Russell and Rony were honored by borough council Monday night. They earned high honors in a regional competition for narcotics search teams.

Greencastle Borough Council congratulated two police officers and said goodbye to another Monday night.

Officer Keith Russell and his K-9 partner Rony were recognized for placing fourth in the K-9 Narcotics Competition and Certification for 2013. The event was sponsored by the United States Police Canine Association, encompassing Region 3.

“This is part of the certification process for working dog teams,” police chief John Phillippy told council members Charles Eckstine, Wade Burkholder, Larry Faight, James Farley, Craig Myers and Matt Smith. Frank Webster Jr. was absent.

“Once again they prove what an asset they are to our agency,” Phillippy continued.

Russell thanked the council for its funding of the K-9 program. While financial support was expensive, he said the return on investment was “one-thousand fold”.

Rony could track drugs, but was also the equivalent of multiple human officers. Russell valued his presence on night patrol, for instance, when he could send Rony into a building first. The partners are together around the clock, he said. He also noted that Rony beat out a team from the CIA at the competition.

“That shows how important it is to have the right dog,” he said.

Council also accepted the resignation of officer Greg Pritchard. He served as a fulltime officer for five years, and has taken another job.

Eckstine called him “an outstanding young man” and wished him well in his next endeavor.

Other business

J A Myers, Hanover, with the low of three base bids at $219,513, was awarded the contract for the Franklin Street Draining Improvement Project. Borough manager Susan Armstrong was directed to negotiate the company’s contingency bid, which was significantly higher that those of the competitors.

Two ordinances were unanimously adopted. New sign regulations address electronic scoreboards at athletic venues, electronic message centers, information kiosks and sandwich boards. The speed limit on South Washington Street was also decreased to 25 miles per hour.