On Patrol With the Twiggs County Drug Dogs
Law enforcement officers use a number of tools that help them do their job in a safe and effective manner.
For Twiggs County Sheriff deputies, one of these tools has become part of the family.
Meet Zadin and Wyra, two of the three drug sniffing dogs of the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Department.
For the deputies, these canines become an extension of themselves during patrol helping to sniff out illegal narcotics that would otherwise go undetected.
“Every dog on our team has paid for themselves several times over in stops throughout the county as well as other agencies,” says Sgt. Jason Smith.
The canine’s sense of smell is 50 times more powerful than a human, which is targeted to detect drugs through extensive training, raising red flags on what may seem like an ordinary violation.
“Most of the time the canine is going to respond and let you know that there is a narcotic in the vehicle. It’s up to you at that time to find out why the canine is responding to that vehicle,” says Smith.
The dogs have lead to the seizure of drugs for personal use up to multiple pounds, and all the way to tainted money and stolen guns.
These situations are fairly rare though. Deputies say that the majority of traffic stop where the dogs are deployed come back without a hit.
“I would imagine that those motorists don’t feel anything except ‘hey he’s got a little puppy!’ The ones that are scared of our presence are the ones you’re going to see as soon as you deploy that dog. The gears start turning and they realize they’re probably going to be going home with us tonight," says Deputy Marcus Baker.
Through the hours of patrolling and traffic stops work eventually becomes a family affair for the deputies, both 2 and 4 legged.
“It takes a while for the dog and the handler to bond and we’ve bonded. It took a little bit and he was winning for a while, but we’re on the same sheet of music now,” says Baker.