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Bartonville removes talks about outsourcing police from agenda, votes to keep K9 officer

Bartonville, IL (HOI) - Dozens of people showed up to the Bartonville board meeting Monday night after word spread that a trustee wanted to talk about outsourcing options for their police department. In fact, the meeting was moved from village hall to a grade school gymnasium because of the expected crowd size.

Shortly after people voiced opposition, it was removed from the agenda all together.

"I want to hear something that supports a decision to get rid of an asset to this community that every one of these tax payers works their butts off for," said one resident, Mike.

The residents in attendance made it clear they want no part in retiring Police K9 Nitro.

"That dog goes out with his handler and they put their lives on the line for us," said Richard McSorley.

The crowd cheering when the board voted 4 to 1 to keep the K9 officer on the force. Some villagers say Nitro keeps their community safer.

"Any time you cut police or fire, you need to rethink this. These guys put their lives on the line everyday", said another resident.

The motion was brought forward in order to save money, the same reason village trustee Tim Carroll wanted to discuss what it would cost to contract the police and dispatch services to Peoria County.

"We are in a little bit of a budget crisis right now, we need to be creative on how we go about getting our services. I don't know if those options are good options or bad options,"said Carroll.

Ultimately, Carroll pulled those items from the agenda.

Mayor Leon Ricca says even if they end up discussing what it would cost to outsource, he doesn't believe it will happen.

"Public safety is something that I don't believe you can cut back on services. I believe you need police officer out there, we need dispatchers behind the console over there so we can get fast response for our residents," said Mayor Ricca.

Jenise Rebholz

Evening Anchor, Heart of Illinois ABC
@JeniseRebholzTV

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