Riley County Law Board hears updates on fentanyl investigation, budget development

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Dispatchers from the Riley County Communications Center were recognized at Monday’s meeting of the Riley County Law Board. National Telecommunications Week is April 14-20. Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

MANHATTAN — Riley County Police Department Director Dennis Butler confirmed to Riley County Law Board members Monday that the department has opened a criminal investigation after suspected fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses in the Manhattan area earlier this month.

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Three overdoses were reported in Manhattan and Ogden, leading to two fatalities. RCPD Captain Tim Hegarty says fentanyl is typically mixed with heroin to give a more increased high. But it’s extremely lethal, even in just small amounts. Hegarty says the department believes the two men who died overdosed on a lethal combination of the two drugs.

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RCPD is reminding the public to report any information about the sale, possession or use of these dangerous drugs by calling 785-537-2112 or in an emergency 911. Tips can also be submitted through the Manhattan-Riley County Crime Stoppers.

Also discussed Monday, Director Butler noted to law board members that RCPD staff has begun with a list of 19 budget considerations for 2020 narrowed down to six priorities which will be presented by the command staff at the budget meeting. Butler says a goal is to begin the process of resolving historic under-funding of non-personnel funds. In particular he says they’re looking to 2022 when significant IT expenditures are anticipated.

      Butler IT funds

Some of the line items including those for overtime, Butler says, are so woefully underfunded that it may take a few years to chip away at some of the costs. He says any time funds are requested outside of personnel, it would be RCPD’s intention to come to the law board.

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In other business Monday, Director Butler presented information on the February crime report, which due to a technical issue was not included in the law board’s consent agenda. Butler says they do have the data which will be issued with March figures at next month’s law board meeting. In terms of part one crime, the most serious crimes reported.

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Property crime increased 2.8 percent, a net increase of two crimes over the same period last year.

Butler also handed out several 2018 departmental awards including Officer Patrick Tiede, who was named Supervisor of the Year by his peers for his dedication to service and resilience after being shot while on duty during a domestic violence incident.

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Rusti Klym was recognized as employee of the year, Daniel Zoeller was corrections officer of the year and Brek Jager was announced as officer of the year.

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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