PARIS — The select board enthusiastically approved a plan by the Police Department to apply for a grant that would help fund a new K-9 unit.

Police Chief Michael Dailey and Officer Daniel Hastings presented the proposal to the board at Monday’s meeting. The $47,000 grant would cover much of the cost for the program for approximately three years, Hastings said.

In addition to paying for the special cage in the cruiser for the dog, $14,000 of the grant would pay for 14 weeks of training for the officer and the dog.

Town Manager Dawn Noyes said she hopes to get a local business to donate food for the dog. According to Paris officials, Norway, which also has a K-9 unit, gets its food donated by a local business.

According to state laws, police cannot extend a traffic stop to get a dog, Hastings said. An officer can only wait for a reasonable amount of time.

“If I feel there are drugs in the car, but I do not have enough to justify pulling someone out of the car to search their car, I have 10 to 15 minutes to get a dog to me or I watch the drugs go bye-bye, which typically happens to us,” Hastings said.


Hastings added that police can legally walk a dog around a vehicle for what is called an open-air sniff.

The multi-purposed dog would also be trained for search-and-rescue operations and would also serve as a bite dog to chase after suspects,” Hastings said. The dog — likely a shepherd — will be sent from Europe and initially trained in Connecticut before coming to Paris to complete its training with the K-9 officer. The state training would be conducted by the Maine State Police.

In other business, the board set Aug. 22 as the date of a public hearing on the proposed marijuana ordinance. The public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at the Town Office.

The board also will hold a workshop at 6 p.m. Monday in the Town Office to establish a group of residents who would develop a community resilience grant for the town. The town would be eligible to receive two $50,000 grants from the state for various community resilience programs.

In a lengthy discussion, Selectman Carlton Sprague complained about the lack of bathroom facilities at Moore Park. Noyes said the portable bathrooms on site in the past became a dumping station for travelers on state Route 26 at all hours of the day. The facility was often trashed, and people did not respect it. She added that there was a question about who would have to keep the facility clean, which she described as “disgusting.”

The highway department provided two bids for a plow truck, which would not be available until 2023-24 winter season. One truck was a Mack and the other a Western Star. Selectmen tabled the request after Selectman Michael Bailey asked for time to study the specs.

Noyes announced that the town received a check for $4,100 for workman’s comp reimbursement.

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