CITY COUNCIL AGENDA
The animal shelter takes in approximately 900 animals per year. The vast majority of these animals are returned to their owner or adopted out. However, roughly 10% of them are either vicious, sick or otherwise unable to adopt out, requiring them to be euthanized. This is a very low percentage for a municipal shelter and would rank our facility as a no-kill shelter by most recognized measures.
Currently, euthanizing is done by either an injection or with the use of carbon monoxide in a manner consistent with current guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association. We are currently unable to utilize injections to euthanize all of the time as we do not have the needed equipment to handle vicious animals in a safe manner during that process. Handling animals while administering an injection includes multiple hazards to staff to include injury and infection for a bite or scratch, injury from lifting large moving animals and stress from both the fear of dealing with a vicious animal as well as the emotional difficulty of having to euthanize an animal in close proximity as they pass. Purchasing the needed equipment would alleviate some of the physical risk involved by better containing animals that could bite or scratch and providing a system for lifting heavier animals. Needed equipment would cost approximately $6,000. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has offered the City a $5,000 grant towards purchasing the needed equipment if the City is willing to dismantle the current carbon monoxide euthanasia equipment and cease using it as a method of euthanasia.
Suggested Motion: I move to authorize the Police Department to Submit a Grant Application to the Humane Society of the United States, in the amount of $5,000 and authorize the mayor to sign the agreement.
Officer wellness has been a focus for the Green River Police Department as well as NW3C in recent years. The department has identified several areas of improvement to support officer wellness to include forming and training a peer support team which has been initiated. NW3C has been developing programs to assist agencies in planning, developing and sustaining efforts in this regard.
The Police Department wishes to apply for a $125,000 LEMHWA Grant. Approximately 40% of the award would be sub-granted to NW3C towards the development of a Strategic Training for Organizational Resilience and Mindset (STORM) program. Development of the program would include providing training GRPD Officers as part of the program pilot. The funds not sub-granted would be used to implement and sustain wellness initiatives identified through the training. NW3C is looking to partner in this manner with six departments across the United States of varying size and region to ensure a program is developed that is scalable. GRPD has been selected due to it’s size and rural nature. The application for funding must be submitted by June 3rd, 2021. The award would likely be announced in October.
Suggested Motion: I move to authorize the Police Department to submit a Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), in the amount of $125,000.