Villadom Times Weekly Newspaper Online - December 24, 2008 Issue
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December 24, 2008 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 3
Waldwick Attorney drafting agreement for care of K-9
Waldwick Borough Attorney Craig Bossong is currently
in the process of drafting an agreement that would allow
retired Waldwick Police Sergeant Russell Litchult to care
for the department’s K-9 until the dog’s death.
The department’s K-9 unit, which Litchult initiated
in 1994, is being disbanded at the recommendation of
Waldwick Police Chief Mark Messner. Local police depart-
ments that had relied on Waldwick’s police dog over that 14-
year period are now using Bergen County’s K-9 service.
Chief Messner previously stated that economic issues,
and Sgt. Litchult’s recent retirement, factored into the deci-
sion to disband the unit. Chief Messner credited Litchult
with initiating the program and running it for the last 14
years, including handling all the associated documentation.
He also expressed the intent to allow Litchult to keep the
dog. When the mayor and council discussed the program at
an October meeting, Mayor Russell Litchult urged the reten-
tion of the unit, saying the K-9 unit is a crime deterrent and
boosts public relations. He said that Ofﬁcer Adam Garcia
had been trained for the unit since he joined the force.
Some council members, however, supported the move to
disband the unit given the sergeant’s retirement.
Councilwoman Anita Bozzo characterized the K-9 unit
as a luxury, adding that the borough pays overtime, adding
Councilman Don Sciolaro pointed out that the dog
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remains a ﬁnancial commitment even when retired from
service. Sciolaro said he had mixed feelings about disband-
ing the unit.
Borough Administrator Gary Kratz indicated the depart-
ment’s police dog is about seven years old, and the depart-
ment has kept previous dogs in active service for only nine
or 10 years at a stretch. Kratz said it was difﬁcult to justify
the local department’s unit when Bergen County provides
the same service to local departments.
Asked about the costs of running the K-9 unit, Kratz and
Messner concurred that it was difﬁcult to separate out the
price tag, since the service involves the K-9 ofﬁcer’s salary,
the operation of the vehicle – which was not used exclu-
sively for that purpose – and the upkeep of the animal.
Some of the K-9 unit costs have been funded through
Council raises fee for well baby care
Local municipalities that participate in the Well Baby
Clinic sponsored by the Borough of Waldwick will soon
see a $25 increase in the administrative fee. The Waldwick
Council recently voted its approval of the change, which
will take the current fee of $100 to $125.
Municipalities that pay to participate in Waldwick’s
clinic under an interlocal services agreement include Upper
Saddle River, Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Franklin Lakes, Mid-
land Park, Oakland, and Wyckoff.
The Well Baby Clinic is held on the second Tuesday of
each month. Dr. Douglas Fenkart of Bergen West Pediatrics
provides all eligible, uninsured preschoolers with immu-
nizations, diagnostic screening (including blood testing),
physical examinations, health education, and referrals.
Waldwick Public Health Nurse Carol Shepard reported
that two new immunization requirements have been added.
Preschoolers, ages six months through 59 monthsmust
have ﬂu shots by Dec. 31 before each individual may attend
school, and Tdap shots for students in sixth grade. This shot
was previously only required for children up to the age of
seven. Fees for shots and physicals, which are paid by the par-
ticipating municipalities, will remain at $35 per visit that
includes shots and physicals and $15 for immunizations
alone. Shepard noted that the program could be dropped if the
state provides universal health care for children.
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