After almost six years of service, Santa Barbara Police K-9 Jake announced his retirement Tuesday to the Santa Barbara City Council.
The 8-year-old Czech-German shepherd-mix worked alongside Sgt. Chris Payne. Together they were responsible for 237 narcotics incidents,169 building searches, 71 apprehensions and 52 area searches, according to the Police Department.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Cathy Murillo presented a proclamation and congratulated the dog for its accomplishments at the city.
Jake will now transition into becoming the Payne family dog.
Sgt. Payne, who has been a full-time member of the Police Department for the last 15 years and volunteered for three years before that, shared some remarks after the proclamation was read.
“In that amount of time I’ve not had another detail affect me the same way that this one has,” he said. “It’s truly one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had and I’m thankful to be one of the few canine handlers at our department.
“With that being said, it’s going to be tough leaving my partner at home,” he added, as he began to choke up.
Elsa Granados, executive director with Standing Together to End Sexual Assault, thanked Jake for his service and his volunteerism to help the group receive funding from the public. She presented him with several gifts, including a dog bone.
During the consent calendar portion of the meeting, the council accepted a $50,000 donation given to the Santa Barbara Police Foundation’s Canine Unit Trust Fund. The donation by local resident Lee Luria will be put toward the purchase of a new dog.
“I am a proud person when it comes to dogs,” Ms. Luria told the council. “I love dogs. I love what the police department is doing with the K-9 unit and I’m honored to be a part of it and I wish the new dogs the best of everything.”
Ms. Luria received a standing ovation from the council.
Also Tuesday. during the consent calendar, the City Council approved amendments to professional service agreements for existing work at and potential expansion of the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant.
The council authorized amending agreements for more than $1 million in contracted work as well as other appropriations related to the expansion of the plant.
Last week, the council approved terms for a 50-year water sales agreement, in which the city will develop a new supply of 1,420 acre-feet of water per year and sell it to the Montecito Water District.
In other business Tuesday, the council heard a report on the Las Positas Roadrestriping project set for the spring and found it to be consistent with the council’s Vision Zero strategy.
The Vision Zero strategy was unanimously adopted by the council in September. It is aimed at eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all, according to a staff report.
The Las Positas project is the first project of this strategy and will address a known collision pattern on Las Positas Road involving vehicles turning onto McCaw Avenueand smaller streets in the Samarkand neighborhood.
The project will remove a southbound travel lane from Las Positas Road, starting at the Gelson’s Market shopping center driveway at State Street and continuing until Las Positas intersects Alegria Road. A center left-turn lane will be added for that portion. In the block before the San Onofre Road intersection the road will expand back to two southbound lanes, according to city officials.
The project will eliminate an estimated 10 to 15 collisions and 15 injuries over the next five years, as well as offer speed control for southbound traffic, said Derrick Bailey, principal traffic engineer for the city.
Several members of the public spoke in support of the proposal, though some argued there may be more collisions in that area that were not included in the city’s data.
“It’s data-drive, it’s creative and the cost is effective — only $25,000 to really solve the problem,” said Councilman Eric Friedman. “And I just keep thinking, ‘Imagine if we didn’t invest $25,000 on this and somebody was to die in a collision here.’ We have the ability to change that.”
The council also discussed another project under the Vision Zero strategy, which includes restriping portions of Cabrillo Boulevard near East Beach.
The proposed project would reduce Cabrillo Boulevard to one lane in each direction near the East Beach volleyball courts, convert the traffic signal at Cabrillo and Ninos Drive to an all-way stop, and add back-in angled parking spots and a Class 2 bike lane.
Several people spoke out against this project, including property owners near EastBeach who said they didn’t feel they had enough input on the proposal.
Council members voted to have city staff engage more with the community and bring the project back in March before moving forward.