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Baylee the drug dog welcomed to Arlington PD
ARLINGTON Shes the newest member of the force, and shell turn 3 years old this December.
Baylee the drug dog was introduced to the Arlington City Council Oct. 15 by Officer Anthony Davis, who now has a new partner.
Davis explained that the purpose of the narcotics detection K-9 is to enhance the Arlington Police Departments efforts to detect illegal substances being housed, transported and sold within the community, a job for which she was trained rigorously.
The standard course for the dogs is 10 weeks long, but she was able to spend a bit more time there, said Davis of Baylee, who attended the Puget Sound Security Detection Dog Program in Granite Falls. I was able to be part of that training, but I also took a two-week handler course of my own. It was so intense, I thought I was back at the academy.
During her course, Baylee was trained to recognize the odors of a number of different narcotic substances, being drilled on each one before moving on to the next. During his course, Davis was trained to recognize the signs that drug dogs show to indicate the presence of such narcotics.
As soon as they learn a scent, they never forget it, Davis said. I got grilled on case laws and proper application of the dog, so that when I go to court I can say, Yes, when she does this, it indicates the presence of drugs.
Baylee has been on the force for a couple of weeks, but Davis took her home from training more than three weeks ago. The partners will be living together, with Davis receiving money from the city to house, feed and care for Baylee.
Shell need things like dishes, collars and veterinary checkups, Davis said. Were still working the details out. Were mapping out standard operating procedures, like call-out procedures and when the dog gets applied. Shes not just going to go to a scene for no reason. Case law protects peoples rights against that.
Davis is drawing from the experience of fellow K-9 officers throughout the Puget Sound region, many of whom will attend a multi-agency K-9 training session in Arlington Oct. 25, drawing law enforcement agents from Marysville, Monroe and Seattle.
What have been established are Baylees costs to date and main assignment area.
The cost of the dog was $6,000, while the school cost $2,000, Davis said. Other schools were charging as much as $20,000 and that didnt include lodging for the officers being trained. Because this school was so close, that wasnt an issue.
As an officer attached to the Arlington Municipal Airport, Davis describes his schedule as the most flexible of the officers, which he believes will allow him and Baylee a broader range within the community. While his partner is the citys first K-9, he added that the police department plans to bring a second K-9 on board sometime next year, which would also be assigned to an airport officer.
Its going to be a breeze for a second handler, because all our procedures will be established by then, Davis said.
In the meantime, Davis and Baylee are working afternoon to morning shifts and spending four hours a week continuing to train.
It helps us keep up a good working relationship and avoid developing bad habits, Davis said. Shes a very loving dog. She loves to play and for her, working is play. Whenever she detects drugs, shes rewarded with a rolled-up towel that we use to play fetch. Shes full of energy. Im 50 years old, and shes making me young again.