PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) – With heroin use rising, more police departments in the area are utilizing a special weapon to fight what they call an epidemic.
The Perrysburg Township Police's special weapon is called X, their K-9 drug dog. In a demonstration, Detective Sergeant James Gross drove a vehicle with heroin in the trunk. K-9 Handler Jason Gladney followed like it was a routine stop. They lapped the car and within seconds X marked the spot.
The police said timing is the key.
"It goes really fast," said Gladney. "It cuts out a lot of steps. As long as we're not detaining anybody longer than reasonable, it's a free search."
X's sense of smell is 50 times more powerful than a human's. He's trained to smell heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. If he senses any of those inside a vehicle, the department can then search it.
Several local departments now use K-9s to search for drugs, which allows detectives more time to work on the "bigger fish" involved in the drug trade.
"What I do may take weeks, months, or even longer," explained Gross. "[But] a dog stops a car and within 20 minutes he can recover narcotics, marijuana, heroin – whatever it may be."
A few weeks ago, X smelled something during a routine search, and when officers looked inside the vehicle, they discovered 11 pounds of drugs.
Local departments are happy to have K-9 officers and dogs giving them such a boost.