The Rincon Police Department could be adding to its roster.
Chief Phillip Scholl said the department has been approached about adding another K9 to its force. The department was offered in mid-October a dog that had been trained for the 75th Ranger Regiment. The RPD already has one K9.
“So we’re not starting from scratch,” the chief said. “We’ll have our foot well into the door.”
The current K9 is rotating around the city, Scholl said, and Rincon’s dog gets called out a lot by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
“It helps to relieve that pressure,” he said. “It makes the dog more available.”
Scholl said the department has become “far more proactive” in its use of the current K9. The dog being offered to the department is a patrol dog.
“It can go after a barricaded gunman and clear a building on its own,” the chief explained. “You’re doubling your coverage for minimal cost.”
City officials, intrigued by the prospect of adding another K9, asked to see productivity reports on the city’s K9. “The record keeping on a dog is huge,” Scholl said.
“It looks like a good opportunity,” said council member Reese Browher.
Added Mayor Ken Lee: “There doesn’t appear to be much of a downside.”
The department’s newest car also is having an effect, Scholl said. The black car with muted signage on its sides doesn’t look like a police patrol car at first glance — which is the purpose. The traffic car has a license plate reader that can scan the letters and numbers of a vehicle going away from the officer.
“We are starting to issue citations with it,” Scholl said. “It is a neat experience. It is impressive. It is truly impressive, the number of tags it can process.”
The traffic car also is “hot-seated,” meaning different officers are behind the wheel each shift.
“I don’t think it’s missed a day since it’s been in service,” the chief said.
The city has the white patrol cars which let people know officers are present and available. But the new traffic car, even in broad daylight, has been the bane of bad drivers.
“You really have to take a second look,” Scholl said. “People do the dumbest things in front of me when I’m in my black car.”