K9 Turbo and I have been working together as a drug detection canine team since October 2009, thanks in a large part, to the businesses and citizens in and around Baker City.
Turbo is a 4 year old American Kennel Club registered black Labrador Retriever. His real name, as registered with the A.K.C. is “Cougar Mountain Judgment Day III”, but we call him Turbo. Turbo was trained to recognize the odors of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin by the Puget Sound Security Dog Program located in Marysville, Washington. When Turbo goes to “work,” he actually thinks he is going to play.
Turbo was trained to associate the four drug odors with a specific toy to play with; in his case, a rolled up towel. When he locates the source of a narcotic odor, he will give an “aggressive” response, meaning he scratches and bites at the source of odor until I reward him with his toy.Turbo and I are a certified Drug Detection Canine Team through the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dogs Association. In order to keep these certifications, we attend annual conferences, and train with other handlers and trainers.
As a team, we also train about four hours per week. Since Turbo joined the force in September 2007, until the end of October 2009, he has been directly responsible for finding the location of drug odor that has lead to the seizure of 44 ounces or 2.75 pounds of marijuana, 12 grams of methamphetamine, and 1 gram of cocaine. Through search warrants that have been written as a result of Turbo and his alert, the Baker City Police have also located and seized 662 pills of ecstasy, 200 pills of Oxycontin and approximately 1oz. of Ketamine. These narcotics have an approximate street value of around $15,500. Turbo has also been responsible for the seizure of $16,655 in U.S. Currency that was related to drug trafficking in our city. As a result of K9 Turbo, at least 75 people have been either arrested or cited for various narcotics related crimes throughout Baker County.
K9 Handler Mike Harris