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Calgary Firefighters Association says cutting K-9 arson unit will affect public safety

Click to play video: 'Public safety, service could be impacted by cutting Calgary’s K-9 sniffer dogs: firefighters union'
Public safety, service could be impacted by cutting Calgary’s K-9 sniffer dogs: firefighters union
WATCH: The possible decommissioning of two K-9 sniffer dogs and reassigning two fire investigator positions will impact public safety and service, according to the Calgary Firefighters Association. Gary Bobrovitz has more – Dec 12, 2017

Cutting the Calgary Fire Department’s (CFD) K-9 unit will be going ahead, the Calgary Firefighters Association (CFA) told Global News after a Tuesday meeting between the firefighters’ union, CFD managers and city labour relations representatives.

As part of $4.5 million in budget adjustments necessary after the city finalized its four-year operating budget, the department proposed cutting the K-9 program to save money.

The union believes both K-9 arson sniffer dogs will be removed from service and two human inspectors they work with will be reassigned.

“That is going to cause an effect to the front-line service to citizens and how we investigate fires and potentially solve fires and… arsonists off the street,” said CFA executive vice-president Mike Henson.

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“And that is public safety really to the negative… to the negative for sure.”

The union also said the number inspectors will be reduced from 10 to eight and the dogs will no longer be in the service.

The department’s budget was slashed by council in late November during budget deliberations.

The CFD said again Tuesday it could not comment on the reports, nor could it discuss the status of the K-9 arson dogs or any other possible cuts to the budget.

Sources have told Global News that all three parties will discuss the final details of the cuts in a meeting next week.

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