Mission city leaders have taken the next steps in preparing to offer animal control services to five other northeast Johnson County cities.
The Mission council unanimously approved Wednesday evening the purchase of a vehicle and equipment to accommodate two new civilian officer positions in the city’s police department.
The community service officers will provide animal control services for Mission as well as all five other cities previously served by the Northeast Animal Control Commission (NEACC), including Fairway, Mission Woods, Roeland Park, Westwood and Westwood Hills, according to a Nov. 8 city memo by Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley. These officers will also handle non-essential police functions such as parking complaints, traffic control for accidents and walk-in reports.
NEACC has provided animal control services to participating northeast Johnson County cities for 35 years and will dissolve after the end of this year. The commission’s decision in May to disband follows nearly four years of discussion over concerns that the joint program for animal control services no longer makes financial sense for participants.
The city staff’s recommendation to hire the two new officers and purchase the vehicle and equipment was “driven in part by the decision to dissolve the Northeast Animal Control Commission,” according to the city memo.
Hadley reported that the police department is still recruiting for the two positions, with the goal of hiring by Jan. 1, 2019. Total vehicle and equipment costs for the two positions are estimated at $63,608, under the city’s available budget in 2019 of $65,500.
Hadley requested the purchases be made in 2018 “in order to facilitate the transition.” Revenues from contractual agreements with other cities for animal control services will “help to offset costs,” he added.
The vehicle, a Ford F-250, will be purchased for $27,608 by Shawnee Mission Ford through the Mid-America Council of Procurement Professionals. That council is comprised of cities in the Kansas City region that work together to increase their “purchasing power on items and equipment of common interest.”