Officers hold K9 training session in Lawrence County

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT)- Officers from all over northeast Arkansas are in training to spruce up theircrime fighting skills with their four legged partners.

The officers have spentthe past few days putting their K9 partners to the test during the LawrenceCounty Sheriff's Office's the 3-day training course.

"It helps us fight the waron drugs that we have such a big problem with in Arkansas," said InstructorBlake Liscomb, who believes this training is vital to making better K9handlers.

"We are also teaching themabout vehicle indicators and subject indicators and smuggling tactics and whatthey should look for on the highway when they approach a violator," explained LayneMathis, who is a K9 officer with the Manila Police Department.

Liscomb says the drugcartel has come up with all kinds of ways to hide drugs.  It is finding the "out of sight"drugs that make K9 units invaluable.

"It's not intrusive.  We're not invading your personal space.  K9 sniffs the exterior of a vehicle, and healerts.  Then, we have probable cause tosearch the vehicle without consent," Liscomb says.

"As I like to refer to adog is four legs of probable cause. Probable cause is our greatest tool when itcomes to searching vehicles. Vehicles are the biggest spot we try to fightdrugs because they've got to be moved," included Blake Bristow with the JonesboroPolice Department.

This is the first year theLawrence County Sheriff's Department has hosted the K9 training session, and itmay not be the last.

Sheriff Jody Dotson of theLawrence County Sheriff's Department says they've had such a huge response ofother officers interested in signing up, and they intend to host the K9training session again.

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