Sheriffs look to increase K9 troop

By Paula Akana
Published On: Oct 16 2012 09:04:01 AM HST
Updated On: Oct 16 2012 09:06:57 AM HST

Five special four-legged deputies are standing out, as they help Hawaii deputy sheriffs in the apprehension of suspects, drugs and contraband interdiction.


Today's Sheriffs department is much different from the department in the past.

While Hawaii deputy sheriffs are busy protecting courts they do so much more.

That includes apprehending suspects and drug and contraband interdiction.

And that's were five special four legged deputies stand out.

Turko is a former Delta Force dog, now a member of the Hawaii Sheriffs department with the ability to follow commands in apprehending  a fugitive.

"We have to show various control phases," said K-9 trainer Deputy Sheriff Frank Lacaden. "One is as you see we're shaking hands and the dog has to be under control."

Besides apprehending suspects,  all of  the dogs specialize in detecting explosives, currency or drugs.

In the five years since they began their involvement in  airport interdiction, the canines have helped detect more than: 1.8 million dollars in currency, 501 lbs of pot
66 lbs of methamphetamine, and 16 lbs of cocaine.

Even the smallest trace of illegal drugs can be detected by their keen sense of smell, as one of the pooches detects a small amount of cocaine behind a bulletin board. After sitting and notifying his handler where the drugs are it becomes apparent what his true motivation is, a tennis ball.

"Everything they do is for fun. What you see out there, nothing's really hard," added Lacaden. "Everything's done for fun. At the end of the day we'll go out and we'll still throw the ball."

The dogs have a great disposition, and go home with their handlers at the end of the day. A part of their family.

"It's never a dull day. The dogs never call in sick. They're always happy to come out and work. How can you not want him? He's perfect for the job," Lacaden declared.

The dogs sense of smell is so keen in July they were able to detect a suspect who was hiding in the ceiling.

Sheriff Shawn Tsuha says its an effective program and they intend to expand it.


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