Supreme Court talks K9 units, local officer shows dog's training - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Supreme Court talks K9 units, local officer shows dog's training


Lingo looks like your average German Shepherd.

He loves to play with his tennis ball.

But unlike most dogs, he's trained to find illegal drugs for the Marion Police Department.

"His drive to work is very high," said Jason Schamberger, Lingo's handler. "His ability to just lay here for a long period of time, he doesn't like to do that. He wants to work."

To become a police K9, dogs go through detailed obedience and tracking training.

But now the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether that training establish's a dog's reliability in the courtroom.

In Florida judges said no.

A second case in front of the Supreme Court came around after another Florida officer let his dog sniff around a house before getting a search warrant.

Lingo's handler says they use him on traffic stops or narcotics search warrants.

The dog can find drugs in different situations, like in cars or in open fields.

"It can make the investigation go quicker because the dogs can pick up on the sense of smell a lot quicker than humans can," said Schamberger.

Marion has three K9 units. Two of the dogs are trained to look for narcotics while the third is trained to look for explosives. And while the dogs can be trained to look for either, the department doesn't want them to be.

"A dog is not able to tell us if he's alerting on narcotics or explosives," said Schamberger. "We don't want to go up and think it's a narcotic hide when it could be a bomb and then explode."

Lingo can help track down evidence by picking up peoples' scent.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on the Florida cases sometime next year.

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