The Wheeling Police Department has recently purchased two new K-9’s in an effort to keep drugs off the streets. The department will now have a total of five dogs and will be able to have one patrolling the streets 24-7.
It’s all part of the Wheeling Police Department’s strategic goal for this year after drug crimes and thefts continue to be on the rise. The K-9’s are trained in narcotic detection, explosive apprehension, and officer protection.
A positive alert from the dog legally allows an officer to conduct a search even if a suspect has denied consent to do so. The department decided to add two more K-9’s after all of the success they received from the three they had last year.
“They were used over 500 times and out of the 500 times they were used they got countless drugs off the street, money, vehicles seized, all because they were there,” Wheeling Police Corporal Dough Howell said.
Howell added that the training is so important for these K-9 officers and their handlers in order to get the job done safe and successfully, especially after the recent death of Canton’s K-9 Jethro.
The K-9 unit goes through training every two weeks for eight hours a day plus an additional two to three hours a week to keep their minds sharp.
The department is also currently working to get two new vest for the new K-9’s