ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Police department seeks new narcotics dog

The Jamestown Police Department lost a member of its force in early March when Alak, a 6-year-old German shepherd trained to sniff out narcotics, died of cancer.

We are part of The Trust Project.

The Jamestown Police Department lost a member of its force in early March when Alak, a 6-year-old German shepherd trained to sniff out narcotics, died of cancer.

Officer John Griffin, Alak's handler, said the loss of the dog had an impact on the department. In 5 1/2 years, Alak was called out more than 125 times and assisted in the discovery of more than 100 pounds of marijuana, 2 pounds of methamphetamines, several thousand dollars of cash and more than 100 pieces of drug paraphernalia.

The dog's death means more time spent by officers on searches.

"A dog can search a room in less than 10 minutes that would take officers an hour," Griffin said.

Griffin said he knows the dog could have been used even more, but Alak was a dual-purpose dog, trained to go after criminals as well as material. As a result, he was too aggressive to use when people were in a home. Instead he was called in to search areas after buildings were emptied.

ADVERTISEMENT

Griffin would like to replace Alak with a Labrador retriever trained only to search out narcotics. He said Labs have some of the best noses for detection and are very people friendly. But finding the $5,000 to pay for a new, trained dog is a roadblock. Alak was purchased with grant money that is no longer available.

"Our budget is strapped right now and all the grant money is going to the war in Iraq and Homeland Security," Griffin said.

Donations to purchase a new narcotics-detecting dog for the department are tax deductible, and Griffin said all the money will go to the K9 department. If more than $5,000 is donated, the remainder will be used to purchase K9 supplies like leashes or a bulletproof vest for the dog. Since Griffin is already trained to handle police dogs, the department won't have to send him for extensive training with the new dog.

Griffin said he will send a letter requesting a donation to any organization that requires one.

Donations -- identified for the Jamestown Police Department's K9 department -- can be mailed or taken to the police station at 511 Second Ave. S.E.

Sun reporter Jackie Hyra can be reached at (701) 952-8455

or by e-mail at jackieh@jamestownsun.com

Related Topics: JAMESTOWNPOLICE
What to read next
The free 500-pound garbage drop-off will be eliminated.
Most lawmakers agree with Gov. Kristi Noem on her contention that record — and growing — surpluses allow the state to give dollars back to taxpayers. Exactly how to do that is up for debate.
Tenants are expected to move in shortly after the new year, according to Tyler Sheeran, development associate with Commonwealth Development Corp.
$401 million race was nation’s most expensive