The Farmington City council honored the memory of a valuable officer of the Farmington Police Department during Thursday’s meeting.
K-9 Officer Figo died in June after a brief illness. His handler, Cpl. Brad Williams, was presented with a proclamation from Mayor Larry Forsythe, as well as a special presentation made by Chief Rick Baker.
Baker expressed his appreciation to businessman Sharo Shirshekan and his family for providing the funding for the department to purchase Figo nearly eight years ago, as well as providing for the training necessary for Figo and Williams.
“We had Figo for a little over eight years,” Baker said. “Ever since we purchased the dog, we knew he was a valuable asset to our department.”
Figo was a dual-purpose dog – serving as both a tracking and drug dog.
“During those years, he made 48 apprehensions of suspects and over 150 narcotics finds from traffic stops,” Baker said.
Both Williams and Figo participated in retraining exercises during their time together.
Baker said Figo suddenly became ill in recent months.
“We don’t know the reason why, but he went downhill very quickly,” Baker said. “He was taken to the local veterinarian clinic, given IVs and actually came to for a couple of weeks.”
Baker said plans were already in the works before Figo’s death to add another K-9 officer to the force due to Figo’s success.
“Because Figo was such a great asset and we knew he was getting older, we didn’t know how much longer he would be working for us. We hoped he would go home to the Williams family and remain there,” Baker said, adding it was his hopes to see what it would be like to have two K-9’s on the force at one time.
Another K-9 has been included in the upcoming year’s budget and will join the force in September, with Josh Shearrer tapped to be his handler. The two will undergo training at that time.
Williams said Figo was more than a work companion – he said he was his “buddy” as well.
“It was an awesome experience all around,” he said. “It’s been eight years and a heck of an experience. I’m thankful especially for Sharo and everyone at the bowling alley. They’re the ones who made it possible for us to take on the canines. It’s been a good eight years. I’m going to miss him.”
His partner said Figo never hesitated and the department got the “best of both ends” with him.
“We took him to the schools and day cares non-stop and the kids could come up and pet on him,” Williams said. “He just absolutely loved that. But, then when it was time to go to work, he didn’t hesitate.”
Williams was also presented with memorial stones from the Shirshekan family during the meeting.
In other business, the council approved two ordinances laying the groundwork for a solar energy farm.
Two separate public hearings were held – one for a final record plat of a Farmington IDA Subdivision at H Highway and Korber Road for the farm, the second for a final record plat for property located at 4529 Korber Rd. to serve as an access for the farm.
After the meeting, Forsythe explained this is one of the first steps in the road for the farm.
In February of this year, council approved a contract with MC Power Company for an interconnection and operating agreement for a solar farm.
Farmington is one of five cities selected from the Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP) for the solar farm.
Mark Krawczyk with MC Power spoke to the council about the solar farm at the February meeting, which will be 15 to 20 acres in size with 9,000 panels.
“It will produce 2.5 megawatts of AC energy, about 3.2 megawatts of DC energy,” he said at the time. “That’s probably enough energy to power 400 to 500 homes.”
A first and second reading and council action were held on both items during regular session, with council giving unanimous approval on both. Ward I Councilman Cody Eaves was not in attendance.
Read more about Thursday’s council meeting in a future edition of the Daily Journal and the Aug. 17 edition of the Farmington Press.
Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or email@example.com