Dogs vital in drugs fight

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Canine Unit Senior Constable Brooke O'Keefe with Henry and Orchi.
Camera IconCanine Unit Senior Constable Brooke O'Keefe with Henry and Orchi. Credit: Pictures: Tim Edmunds, Tim Edmunds

Don’t let their friendly and playful manner fool you: police dogs Henry and Orchi are vital police weapons in keeping illicit drugs off the streets.

The drug detection dogs from the WA Police canine unit in Perth made their presence felt in Albany last week.

Accompanied by handler, Senior Constable Brooke O’Keefe, the Labradors were involved in search warrants and a screening at Albany Regional Airport.

Sen. Const. O’Keefe said six-year-old Orchi was actively trained, meaning she would scratch at a target while Henry, 3, was passively trained and will sit next to a target where drugs are suspected.

Police found no drugs at the airport but were successful during a search warrant on Thursday morning.

Albany police Sergeant Nathan Parkey said drug detection dogs were a great resource.

Canine Unit Senior Constable Brooke O'Keefe with Henry and Orchi.
Camera IconCanine Unit Senior Constable Brooke O'Keefe with Henry and Orchi. Credit: Tim Edmunds

“On this occasion, we screened the airport, the incoming and outgoing flights, passenger and FIFO, and also the Transwa bus,” he said.

“There was the execution of planned search warrants targeting people we suspect are dealing drugs in the Albany area.

“We located methamphetamine, cannabis, implement, a small amount of cash and property we suspect to be stolen, so we are making some enquiries into that property.”

Sgt Parkey said Great Southern police were looking into the prospect of having a drug detection dog permanently in the region in the future.

“When you are looking at methamphetamine the dealable quantities are quite small so they alert to that and where we should be concentrating with our search,” he said. “It’s something we are definitely going to be looking at in the future, it would be very handy to have one down here.

“I think it’s something being discussed and with any luck we will have one in the future.”

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