Monday, August 9, 2010


“Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant.” - Unknown

Fire Starter has just learned that the Johnson City Police K-9 program is being shelved indefinately.  Several months ago, mayor Hannon regaled the public with the great benefits of having a K-9 in the department.  In an era of tight budgets, it was entirely unclear why the Village was unable utilize K-9 units from neighboring departments or the State Police.  Fire Starter had previously questioned this often costly "luxury" in the face of officer reductions.

Apparently, Mayor Hannon handled this matter as he has so many others.  He failed to comply with his contractual obligations and made a "side deal" with Officer Berdine, the erstwhile "dog handler".  Mayor Hannon was called to task and has buckled under the pressure.

Of equal interest is the fact that Hannon's "chosen-one", Officer Berdine, has recently faced internal investigations involving his failure protect his fellow officer in an emergency situation and most recently for using department computers to view Facebook and other material regarding young women.  Perhaps in light of the investigation involving Berdine's alleged failure to protect a fellow officer, having the K-9 was a remedial action. It is certainly clear to Fire Starter that Hannon favors those with his low level of character over more dedicated and honorable employees such as Chief Potts, Captain Maney and Fire Marshal Dempsey.

Fire Starter is pleased with this recent development but is quite wary of Hannon's judgement.  Yet again, Village resources have been squandered with no appreciable benefit to Village residents.  Instead of picking winners and losers among village employees, perhaps Hannon should concentrate on economic development and services.  But to do that, he would need to place the  Village's interest before his own petty games.  And that does not seem to be in Hannon's character.

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