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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Council hear's complaint on dog shooting, explains finding missing man

  • Eldorado City Council's Tuesday meeting opened with a plea from resident Jason Robershaw to better train police in dealing with pets and to consider the continued employment of Eldorado Police Officer Ryan Ward.
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  • Eldorado City Council's Tuesday meeting opened with a plea from resident Jason Robershaw to better train police in dealing with pets and to consider the continued employment of Eldorado Police Officer Ryan Ward.
    Ward in September shot and killed Robershaw's German shepherd while on duty investigating a theft. Ward was at the wrong property when Robershaw's dog, Smoky, apparently attacked him and Ward killed the dog.
    Robershaw denies Smoky bit Ward, saying what appeared to be an abrasion on Ward's knee was too minor to have been a bite from a large German shepherd.
    Robershaw, a youth counselor for Egyptian Health Department, asked the council to consider mandating free training for officers through the Humane Society and ASPCA and that officers be trained to deal with aggressive animals with non-lethal force.
    Robershaw said Ward shot the dog and the family watched it slowly die over a period of about 10 minutes.
    "He had the gall to shoot him once, but not to shoot him twice," Robershaw said.
    With several supporters in the room, Robershaw said Ward's resignation from the force was appropriate due to what Robershaw described as "more than 10 errors" in Ward's incident report.
    "I would graciously accept his resignation. To this day I have not received an apology of any kind from Ward," Robershaw said.
    City Attorney C. Mart Watson responded to Robershaw by saying the incident had been turned over to an outside agency — the Saline County Sheriff's Office — for investigation and the Saline County State's Attorney's review of the incident found no wrongdoing on Ward's part.
    Mayor Rocky James said council members have been in contact with Robershaw's family and are not taking Robershaw's complaint lightly.
    "Trust me, we do care," James said.
    As for training of officers, James said the officers receive such training at the Police Academy.
    Monday Eldorado firefighters, police and citizens banded together in an effort to locate a lost Eldorado resident, James "Cricket" Davis, an elderly man who had wandered from his home.
    "We had 16, 17 guys search all day," Fire Chief Mike McKinnies said, adding the men donated their time.
    "The good thing is we found him."
    To be precise, Mary Lou Heck found him and notified police. He was alive in a ditch that had been recently mowed by Man-Tra-Con temporary workers.
    Davis had been the owner of muffler shop in town before his retirement.
    Council announced there may be hope for the Eldorado Golden Circle that had been set for closure in September.
    The Golden Circle will continue to operate for two months and State Senator Gary Forby and State Rep. Brandon Phelps are helping to look for funding to support the center that is provided rent free to help the city's senior citizens.
    Page 2 of 2 - James announced residents can take advantage of an electronic recycling collection program 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Harrisburg Yard Site No. 2 across from the Saline Creek Pioneer Village and Museum. Electronic equipment may no longer be taken to landfills. The program is for small electronic items; not appliances, light bulbs batteries or mercury switches.

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