Ky. jail welcomes drug detection K-9
The Belgian Malinois is trained to detect meth, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, fentanyl, suboxone and LSD
By Austin Johnson
The Daily Independent
GREENUP, Ky. — The Greenup County Detention Center welcomed its first K-9 unit with hopes to prevent use of drugs inside the jail.
A 16-month-old Belgian Malinois named Chief will be assisting the Greenup County Detention Center to prevent dangerous drugs from entering and causing safety risks to the inmates and officers inside the building.
Greenup County Jailer Larry Pancake said having a K-9 unit will provide more assistance in searching for contraband.
"One thing the jails never had is a K-9 Unit," Pancake said. "The idea of the dog is not to attack, but to prevent the use of drugs in general. Inmates will smuggle drugs in their private areas — no matter what you do. We have X-ray machines, you can search them, but you are still going to have things brought in."
Chief is trained to detect meth, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, fentanyl, suboxone and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). The new K-9 received his training from Shawn Podunavac, of A+ K-9 Detection Services, and received his certification on Monday, Aug. 21.
He is trained on building, room and car searches, Podunavac said.
"The industry standard is 16 hours of training a month and that's recognized by the federal courts and we do maintenance training every week," he said.
Deputy Justin Taylor, the handler of Chief, pitched the idea of getting a dog for the jail.
"I've had Chief since he was six weeks old — he has calmed down some, but will get aggressive if need be; as soon as I put him in the car he's ready to go," Taylor said. "At the training center we took a box with drugs in it and put 150 pounds of weights on top of that box and he moved every one of them. He is a working machine."
Pancake said Chief did not come from taxpaying citizens of Greenup.
"This dog does not cost the taxpayers any money," said the jailer. "Everything we've done with expenses have been done through accounts we have here or commissary accounts that benefit the prisoners. We can spend that money on anything that benefits them and this benefits them.
"If we can find drugs ahead of time and lessen the possibility for overdoses, we can save some lives," he said. "My job is to protect these guys."
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