Delta city manager Justin Clifton has found a way to dedicate more resources to animal control without additional expense. With the approval of city council, he plans to relocate animal control services from the police department to the city's code enforcement division, which is housed in the community development department.
"We believe we'll be able to increase services without increasing the budget," Clifton explained.
Instead of a part-time animal control officer, the city will have a full-time code enforcement officer who also handles animal control. The funds dedicated to the part-time animal control officer will be used to operate the shelter on a limited basis. The result, Clifton says: staff dedicated to animal control will be increased from .5 FTE to 1.5 FTE and service will be improved through prioritization and interdepartmental cooperation.
Clifton predicts a "seamless transition." Code enforcement officer Roger Christian is a former police officer who already has some training in animal control.
The community development department is housed in city hall, which creates opportunities for other staff members to assist with social networking, grant applications and education about the importance of spaying and neutering. "We're looking to improve animal control across the board, not just enforcement," Clifton said.
Council approved the proposal, which will take effect upon the departure of CAWS at the end of the year. The animal welfare organization has been operating the animal shelter in partnership with the city for the past two years.
The city is open to a similar partnership with other organizations, but found little interest during a recent stakeholder meeting.
Councilmember Mary Cooper congratulated Clifton and his management team on their creative thinking. The alternative was to simply let stray animals run at large, and to provide police response only to reports of vicious and aggressive animals.blog comments powered by Disqus