K-9 Unit Valuable Resource To Local Police Department

By Dara Rees | 

One member of the Hazard Police Department is a valuable resource for UNITE and HIDTA, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

The Hazard Police Department has something not all police stations have and his name is Lobbes. Lobbes is a Belgian Malinois drug sniffing dog.

"He is trained to detect illegal substances as drugs that weren't visible to the eye," said Sgt. Shawn White.

The K-9 can be used in schools, vehicles, open areas, almost anywhere to find narcotics.

"He's trained where if something is hid or something, we don't detect in that situation. It works to our benefit that he can detect that," White said.

Lobbes was born and raised in Europe and now he's one of the only K-9 units in Eastern Kentucky.

Detective Napier used a WYMT News vehicle to demonstrate how Lobbes searches for illegal substances. Performing the search is treated as a game for the dog. As friendly as they seem, children and adults should use caution when approaching any working dog like Lobbes.

"Always ask before you approach the dog if you want to pet because you will disturb the dog either from working and some dogs are aggressive," Detective Michael Napier said.

Lobbes responds to his commands, which are spoken in Dutch, and a variety of visual hand cues.

"He actually out ranks me. He's a Sergeant, which is an honorary title. That's kind of a tradition among K-9's that are in law enforcement of the military," said Napier said.

Napier says people have responded well to seeing the dog in the community.

The Hazard Police Department also hopes to start an obedience program in local shelters. The program would train animals with some basic obedience skills making them more appealing for adoption.

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