As an extension of the measures police are taking against the opioid epidemic, two new K9 drug dogs are joining the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Here’s the kicker: the dogs expenses are being paid with by money seized in drug busts.
Fighting Drugs With Seized Money
The sheriff’s office gets to keep a portion of money seized in drug busts, with the condition that it must be used on narcotics initiatives. Previously, they have used the money to buy a pill counter so officers don’t have to count pills seized by hand. This time two new K9 units will be bought and trained with the money. The dogs will cost $24,000 altogether; this includes $8,500 for each dog and $3,500 for training.
Officer Training With K9s
The officers assigned to the new K9s will attend an intensive eight-week training session at an out-of-state facility. Both the handler and dog go through rigorous training, including safety and obedience training. The process of building a relationship between the handler and canine is a huge part of whether the K9s will be effective, as they respond to their handler and are attached to only that handler.
K9 Units Important in Fight Against Opioids
The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office currently only have two K9s, which is not enough to have one on shift at all times. So far they have been able to rely on K9 back-up from the Waynesville Police Department, which has four drug dogs, but the response can be delayed when they call in a K9. The two new dogs will help both the sheriff’s office and the police become more efficient.
Without the help of K9 units, the efforts of police forces and sheriff’s offices battling against drugs, especially opioids, will be slowed and the drugs will continue to spread.
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