Clarence police buy former Columbia police dog

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 | 7:17 p.m. CST; updated 10:19 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 30, 2013

COLUMBIA — A dog that former Columbia Police Officer Rob Sanders campaigned to buy after Sanders left the department has been sold to the Clarence Police Department for one dollar.

The dog, Fano, was brought to his new home Wednesday.

Clarence Police Chief Raymond Barton said Fano will be the only dog in the one-man police department. Barton said he worked with canines when he was in the military.

"I’m a big believer in dogs and police work," Barton said.

Barton contacted Columbia police when he found out the department was looking for someone to take custody of Fano. The department agreed to sell him for a symbolic one dollar to comply with the City of Columbia’s finance rule regarding surplus, according to a news release from Columbia police.

Fano was boarded with the City of Columbia’s canine handler, where he was supposed to be trained to work with a new handler, however, another officer was not trained to work with Fano because of staffing shortages.

The Police Department decided to sell Fano because of the costs of boarding him, the release stated.

Barton said Fano will be used mainly for drug detection.

Sanders was fired from the Columbia Police Department in 2011 for use of excessive force against a prisoner in a holding cell. City Council denied Sanders' wife's request to buy Fano, citing the fact that he was a young dog that could still work and that as an aggressive police dog, he could be capable of harm.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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Andrew Reynolds January 30, 2013 | 9:11 p.m.

I find it interesting that you don't mention anything about how much it cost the taxpayers of Columbia to board the dog (especially considering officer Sanders offer to purchase it)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 30, 2013 | 11:57 p.m.

Officer Sanders lost his ability to be Fano's handler when he shoved a restrained inmate into a cinder block wall. It's not his right for the city to sell him the dog so that he can be more employable and valuable to another police department. It was the city's dog, not his.

(Report Comment)

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