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DUNKIRK — Dunkirk area resident Robert Rice asked council at its regular meeting Monday for help with the drug situation in the area.
According to Rice, because of his efforts there hasn’t been a breaking and entering in the village in two months, which does not happen on its own.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of time and a lot of hours,” Rice claimed. “It feels nice not to hear your neighbors complain that they just got their house broken into or their car ransacked.”
Rice gave a little bit of his background and expertise in the area to council for those who didn’t know him.
“I was in the drug world for 30 years; I did it all – everything, all of it, so I know how it works,” he said. “Now I’ve got spider webs, so I know what’s going on here; I know how the game’s played. I can’t do it alone. I need help.”
Rice said he enjoys what he’s doing and donating his time and expertise to help. He also informed council he’s able to be the village’s eyes and ears – their informant – and can work with them to help alleviate the drug problem.
“The only thing I’m asking tonight, I’m pleading, I need help,” Rice said. “I can be the eyes and the ears, and I can be the informant, and I can work with them, but you’ve got to do it on time. If something’s going down, I can’t wait a half hour to get a cop car here in Dunkirk. That’s not going to work.
“If it keeps going and we don’t start a program – and you can see it’s working – it’s not going to keep up,” he said.
Without probable cause, Rice said, there’s nothing he can do when he catches somebody; he can’t arrest them or hold them, which he said doesn’t do anybody any good.
Dunkirk Mayor Terry Cramer later informed council that Sheriff Keith Everhart said they would be able to patrol for the village for $20 per hour and be available for a few four-hour time periods.
Council came to a consensus that the times should be anywhere between 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, avoiding a regular set time so possible offenders don’t become used to a pattern. They also agreed on a varied day to be determined at the office’s discretion.
“Keith has to keep making arrests daily,” Rice said. “If that doesn’t happen, we’re right back to square one.”
Also on hand Monday evening was resident Patricia Larson, who said she had cats come up missing lately because of what she believes are live traps.
Larson told council that not all cats being trapped are strays and that some of them, like her cats, were family pets, and that they are not being properly released.
“There’s a lot of people looking for their cats; there are signs up all over town,” she said.
According to Larson, any trapped cats at least have to be taken to the humane society. She said she’d be willing to have people who trap call her and she’d take them there herself, rather than disposing of the cat in any other manner.
Larson understood that eliminating trapping completely was not a viable request, but said it’s important for people to have a chance to get their family pets back.
“All I’m saying is if our family pets are gone, they’re gone for good,” she said. “I would give my life to get my calico cat back, and I’ll never get her back.”
In other council action:
– Agreed to drop the “nuisance” designation at 443 Park St.
– Moved the deadline for the sewer hookup forward from Nov. 1 to Aug. 1.
– Received a letter and check from the Hardin County Community Foundation for $1,000 to be used for trees.
– Accepted the $1 bid by Habitat for Humanity for the property at 331 S. Main St.
By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer