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Marion City Council welcomed therapy dog for police department

Marion Police
Canine officer Gary will work with the police department to help victims experiencing trauma.

The Marion City Council welcomed the Marion Police Department's new canine therapy dog at their most recent meeting.

Officer Jason Plichta said the goal of the program is to help victims through traumatic experiences. He said canine officer Gary has already begun to help on his first call, helping a woman whose house was broken into.

"He turned a bad situation, again, where someone broke into her house, she felt violated just by someone being inside there, you know, she was laughing, smiling, playing with Gary. So it was the first of hopefully many different experiences where he gets to meet the community and help people get through their traumatic incidents," he said.

The council also discussed a draft of an aggravated public nuisance ordinance, which would address properties that have repeated police calls. The ordinance would allow the city to assist landlords trying to evict tenants who commit certain criminal offenses or to go after landlords who refuse to do so. The draft ordinance will be available for public review at the Marion City Clerk's office and the city's website.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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