JEFFERSON HILLS (KDKA) — Dozens of people packed a Jefferson Hills borough meeting.

The borough laid off Fritz, its K-9 officer, for 2011, but the community wants the dog back on the force.

“No other officer on our force can match him when it comes to running, locating drugs or finding people,” one resident said. “His keen sense of smell, tracking ability and speed alone make him unmatchable by human abilities.”

Fritz was laid off due to budget cuts.

“The major cost is the comp time,” Christopher King, Jefferson Hills Borough President, said.

The wife of Fritz’s handler, Kim Gawlas, disputed the council’s cost evaluation by handing out copies of her husband’s pay stubs. She says there are funding solutions.

“We have citizens who have brought money in, I have funding that was from the attorney general’s office that is available if the borough would accept it,” she said.

Emotions ran high during the meeting, but the council stood firm on ending the K-9 program for now.

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