Oregon: Unemployed Police Dogs
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Oregon: Unemployed Police Dogs
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2015 at 14:17:19 PT
 By Peter Holley
Source: Washington Post
Oregon -- In their heyday, Narc and Cody, two drug-sniffing pooches employed by the Medford, Ore., Police Department, were valued weapons in the war against drugs.Narc, a Belgian Malinois, is trained to sit when he smells a drug, while Cody, a Lab mix, freezes in place when he picks up on an illegal substance. Sgt. D.J. Graham, who oversees the department’s drug-sniffing dog program, called both 5-year-old canines “model employees.”
“They’re both very friendly and both hard-working and have high energy,” he told The Washington Post. “They’re both very focused when it comes to their work and they work for cheap: food and play.”When marijuana becomes legal on July 1, it seems, they’ll find themselves in the same position as a lot of skilled, middle-aged employees in a rapidly evolving economy: unemployed.The reason, police said, is that drug-sniffing dogs are often used to alert authorities about the presence of drugs, providing them with the probable cause necessary to initiate a search. If, as the Seattle Times explains, a suspect is carrying a newly legal drug like marijuana and an illegal drug like heroin, a dog that provides probable cause after smelling the legal substance could invalidate any arrest for the illegal substance.Medford police are hardly alone. Law enforcement agencies statewide will be forced to fire their suddenly irrelevant drug-sniffing dogs after voters approved Ballot Measure 91 — legalizing recreational marijuana legal for anyone 21 and older — in November, according to the Times.“Statewide,” the newspaper reported, “there are 150 dogs working for various law enforcement agencies, according to the Oregon Police Canine Association. About 60 of the dogs are assigned to drug enforcement.”“It’s kind of sad,” Deputy Chief Brett Johnson told the Times. “Nobody wants to see a dog lose its job.”Why not teach an old dog new tricks? As it turns out, the old adage holds true. Retraining a dog is not as simple as teaching a baby boomer how to tweet, although it’s not entirely different either.“It’s much harder to retrain a dog than it is to train them for the first time,” Graham told The Post, noting that each animal costs $12,000. “Their brains develop synapses the same way human brains do. In times of stress or confusion, it becomes harder to ignore those synapses.”Medford police are already moving on. They’ve requested an additional $24,000 in the upcoming city budget for new pooches that will be trained to smell heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, but not marijuana, according to the Times.Graham said police are still deciding what to do with Cody and Narc, meanwhile, both of whom have half a decade of work left in them. Police said there’s a chance one of the dogs will continue to work counterfeit cases, in which money can bear the scent of drugs or in cases where drugs have been carried across state lines.Cody’s handler also told the Times that he’d be happy to adopt his co-worker. Police Chief Tim George promised the dogs will end up in good homes and not be euthanized.“We don’t say they’re being fired,” Graham told The Post. “We prefer to call it early retirement.”Source: Washington Post (DC) Author:   Peter HolleyPublished: May 3, 2015Copyright: 2015 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on May 04, 2015 at 22:13:49 PT
All aboard the gravy train, BYOB !
 "Bring Your Own Biscuits" oh, and the gravy is getting pretty thin too, so...
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on May 04, 2015 at 19:28:25 PT
REtrain graveytrain
RE-train the dogs to sniff out prohibitionists.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 04, 2015 at 18:03:35 PT
“Nobody wants to see a dog lose its job.”
He's wrong about that. I always thought they spent ridiculous amounts of tax money on those dogs. Many of them imported. The Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherds really added to the new Nazi aura the police seem to be cultivating at the height of the War on Drugs, too. I believe it was and is a racket in so many ways.Recruiting children. Propaganda and fear tactics out the kazoo. Prison for profit. Drawing blood, plucking hair, forcing people to give up bodily fluids for UNREASONABLE searches and seizures. Body cavity searches every chance they get. Humiliation. Intimidation. Killing, wounding, and terrorizing the guilty and the innocent alike. Oh the Drug War. The enforcement of the prohibition of drugs, and cannabis, is the very visible jackboot that hovers over the neck of every citizen. The War on Drugs, and especially the War on Weed... has been a very bad thing. A very bad thing. Some of them might say that maybe they, the purveyors and instigators of said war and persecutions, had good intentions... but it looks very damned doubtful. Stop it before it kills and destroys more people and more lives.Save a life. End prohibition of cannabis.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 04, 2015 at 17:13:04 PT
Dogs Are Mans Best Friend
Dogs should never have been used again citizens period.
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on May 04, 2015 at 16:21:28 PT
Old Tricks, New Tricks
 Sgt. D.J. Graham knows more than he lets on.“It’s much harder to retrain a dog than it is to train them for the first time,” Graham told The Post, noting that each animal costs $12,000. “Their brains develop synapses the same way human brains do. In times of stress or confusion, it becomes harder to ignore those synapses.”Now, if the Sgt. would just apply those dog insights to the humans he targets!
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on May 04, 2015 at 15:35:28 PT
just shows you how much we're wasting pursuing the other "illegal" substances.Look at the roads and bridges near you, they're crumbling so we can feed the dogs but more important the porcine animals on the other end of the leashÉ...
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on May 04, 2015 at 15:23:26 PT
Plant sniffing dogs.
This is all screwed up. They're referred to as "DRUG" sniffing dogs. What they really are is PLANT smelling dogs.They can screw the public but not Me! Once the PLANT cannabis is RE-legalized, those dogs which have been used to discriminate against Our fellow humans are history.Good riddance.Good riddance cops with plant sniffers used to perPETuate hatred.Low scum.Cannabis prohibitionists are the worst. -trying to make society believe citizens who choose to use cannabis are "DRUG" users. Shame on them.
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