Together, they just busted three men with $300,000 in hard drugs stashed away during a traffic stop in SE Portland Tuesday; but for Portland Police K-9 Lola and her handler, Officer Alex Fyfe, the work is never done.
“To find pound level quantities of hard drugs is not all that uncommon in the Portland metropolitan area, unfortunately,” Officer Fyfe told Fox 12.
The pair have only been working together since late April.
The drug detection dog Officer Fyfe previously had was trained to smell marijuana along with cocaine, heroin and meth. With the legalization of pot in Oregon, that dog had to be moved to a new working home in Idaho.
Now, Lola is the Portland Police Bureau’s first “three-scent” K-9 trained only to detect cocaine, heroin and meth as part of the Drug and Vice Division.
She’s trained as a “passive alert dog,” meaning she will sit or lie down during a search, rather than bark, to indicate the area where she detects a drug odor.
It’s a job she will perform a few times a week, or as much as five or six times a day, depending on the varying drug activity in Portland.
Tuesday’s bust of five pounds of methamphetamine and one pound of heroin is one of – if not the – biggest she’s made so far.
That one pound of heroin alone represents 4,500 average doses, or “4,500 chances to die,” as Officer Fyfe put it.
Since Lola’s introduction as a drug-detection K-9, another has been added to the Drugs and Vice Division and a third should be working by this fall. The Portland Police Bureau also has 10 patrol K-9’s and 3 bomb-detection dogs.
“We spend all this time training and putting effort and energy into making sure our dogs are proficient and that they’re able to contribute when they’re called upon,” Officer Fyfe said. “Yesterday we were called upon and she did her work and I did mine, and we ended up catching three guys and getting a bunch of dope and a gun, so it’s pretty rewarding that way.”
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