Not your K9-5 job: Pooches help CPD crack down on drugs - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Not your K9-5 job: Pooches help CPD crack down on drugs

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The back of most cop cars are reserved for perpetrators, but not two Columbus Police Department squad cars...unless being a man's best friend is a crime.

"When they say there's drugs there, there's drugs there," said Corporal Nathan Norton.

Penny and Kruger of the Columbus Police Department's K9 unit practice every week, but got to re-master their skills. They recently returned from re-certification in Florida, where Kruger managed to outshine more than 100 other dogs across the country, bringing home the Top Dog trophy.

"Dogs are very trainable, but they also require a lot of repetitiveness, and they learn very well but just like humans, if you get lazy, they'll get lazy," said Norton.

Columbus police officers use Penny and Kruger to help sniff out drugs, saying they've helped tremendously in cracking down on drug crimes in the Valley area. The two are trained to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamines.

The dogs have a special spot in the back of their partner's squad cars, with special accommodations to keep them safe while on the job.

"The windows, they roll down but you can not stick anything inside it. All of them are equipped with a fan, and if the temperature gets over 92 degrees, an alarm sounds, the windows roll down, the fan cuts on and blows the hot air out," said Officer First Class Scott Taft.

Which means they won't over heat on duty, leaving plenty of energy for break-time play.

Officials explain that police dogs can be trained in a variety of specialties from drugs to explosives, but they can only be trained in one field for an officer to know what they are dealing with when the animal responds.

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