A SNOOTFUL: Drug sniffing K-9s train at Green Mountain High

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Lebanon officer Tyler Hewes puts Kymba through her paces. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

School was out, but a class was hard at work on the ground floor hallway of Green Mountain Union High on a recent evening.

Four dogs – or K9s – were going through their paces looking for drugs placed in the corridor of empty lockers as part of their  police.

The dogs are enrolled of a six week course in sniffing out drugs put on by the Vermont Police Academy.  According to Chester Police Chief Rick Cloud, who is also a K9 instructor with the academy, the dogs have been learning to recognize and react to several drugs with a signal to their handlers.

Dutch finds the stash.

Two of the dogs are training on seven drug smells, while the other two are working on five. The drugs include pot, hashish, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine, crack and heroin.

At the end of the training – which began on March 6 – the dogs will be tested. If they can find the drugs, they will be certified to work with police. The April 14 test will consist of finding drugs hidden in a house, a warehouse and a car according to Cloud.

The academy K9 class from left, Hewes and Kymba, Cloud and Dutch, Harvey and Cobalt and Comtois and Phoenix

While Cloud is a K9 instructor, he was a student in this class with his new dog, Dutch. K9 Training Coordinator Bob Ryan was the instructor – aided by his dog Milo.

Other dog and handler pairs were Tyler Hewes and his dog Kymba of the Lebanon, N.H., Police, Vermont State Trooper Alex Comtois with Phoenix and Rutland Police officer Nate Harvey with Cobalt.

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About the Author: Shawn Cunningham has written a number of subjects -- from food and wine to film, history, politics, zoning and development -- for the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, Museum News, The Westsider, The Chelsea/Clinton News, Menckeniana, Films in Review and the East Village Eye.

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  1. Kathy says:

    Decriminalization is for a small amount of marijuana. What happens when a pound of weed is turned up in a search? The casual user won’t be carrying a pound but a dealer quite possibly would be. That is most likely why the dogs are being trained to sniff out pot.

  2. Tim Roper says:

    It’s terrific that we’ll have more opportunities to find opiates, meth, crack, etc., so we can lock up the dealers and put the addicts into treatment and recovery programs. Hurray!

    But, why are we spending time training these dogs to find marijuana when it’s been decriminalized here for years and the state legislature is working to legalize it, as we speak?

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