The New Ulm Police Department needs to cut $30,000 from its 2013 budget. One proposed option being consider is ending the department's K9 program, the New Ulm Journal reports. Police Chief Myron Wieland says it would cover about $10,000 in cuts.
"The decision is on economics," Wieland told the newspaper, "but, the animal is a beautiful representation of the department. It's very unique to have [a K9 unit] compared to many cities."
A finial decision is expected in the next few weeks. If the program is retired, Juneau, the unit's German shepherd, would be given over to his handler. The police officer would be reassigned with the department.
However, the Mankato Free Press notes re-establishing the K9 unit at some point would be difficult because of start-up costs.