Decatur Animal Services could soon be under police department

Updated: May. 3, 2016 at 7:04 PM CDT
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DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Soon, Decatur Animal Services could be a part of the police department.

Some city officials are ready to move in that direction, and the police department is making some moves in anticipation of the change. Decatur Mayor Don Kyle is proposing the plan. Councilman Charles Kirby, who is the city council's liaison to animal services, has been an advocate of the change for a couple of years.

Under the mayor's proposal, instead of a director, there would be an animal services manager who would report to the police department.

The Decatur Police Department has already created and filled their own Liaison to Animal Services position. Interim Police Chief Nadis Carlisle said it would not be a merger, that there would be separate budgets and personnel.

Carlisle said police officers would not become animal control officers, but that they would work more closely with animal services.

"This would help facilitate investigations as it pertains to cruelty of animals, abuse of animals, neglect and animal fighting. Our animal services do a great job. They know what they're doing and we are not trying to take over. We're just trying to help them facilitate and help them do their jobs if they need us," Carlisle said.

Our media partners, Decatur Daily, reports some members of the city's Animal Shelter Board are not in favor of putting animal services under the police department. They are concerned about how that could affect the services at the shelter.

The proposal is expected to be on the late May council meeting agenda.

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