Frank Doutrich posted a banner on his 9th Street property about Columbia's need for a police dog.
"I never heard it from the chief, why we don't have a police dog. I'm tired of hearing, 'It's the kids.'" Doutrich said, referring to the mayor's stated concern about the dog intimidating children. "Isn't there kids in any of these other municipalities?"
Lutz replied, "But they're not using the dogs on the kids like you suggested."
"Other municipalities are using it [a K-9 program]." Doutrich said. " Why aren't we?" Doutrich said the program was funded.
"In order to have a K-9 assigned to the police department you have to have an officer that's willing to take on the K-9," Lutz said. "We do not have an officer willing to take on the K-9. So, therefore, we cannot have a dog." Doutrich replied that Columbia does have an officer available, but Lutz heatedly replied, "That officer will never have a dog in Columbia Borough."
Doutrich accused the mayor of being political about the issue. Lutz denied the claim and said the issue is about liability.
According to a February 26, 2014 LancasterOnline article, the issue was visited in a heated back-and-forth at that month's borough council meeting. At the meeting, Lutz said the reason for discontinuing the K-9 was due to the officer's concern about having a dog in his home that is trained to bite. One council member said he had spoken to the officer and Lutz's assertion was incorrect. According to the article, Lutz said that a second officer considered taking on the role of handler but was also concerned about having such a dog in his home.
In a comment following the article, a Columbia resident stated, in part: "Seems as though someone is hiding something and now the Borough is without an asset in its crime fighting arsenal. The lack of a handler is pure balderdash."