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Drug detecting K-9 joins Sheriff’s force

August 13, 2014 by

Lake County’s Sheriff’s department is thrilled to have a new member on their team.

Jeda, a 2-year-old black lab, joined the force as the only K-9 drug-detecting police dog just last week. She is a rescued dog from Iowa and trained by Polk County, Iowa trainer, Dennis George, who is a 30-year-veteran of the police force.

Deputy Buck Maganzini took a week’s trip to Iowa to get a week’s worth of training with Jeda before taking the return trip. Jeda is trained to detect methamphetamine, cocaine and heroine along with all other derivatives. However, Jeda is not trained to identify marijuana since the possible legalization and medical use cards would cause more of a hassle.

She is trained as a passive alert dog; meaning when she detects the location of the narcotics she sits and stares to indicate where the narcotics are hidden. This method saves the enclosure from being clawed and scratched.

“She will be a great resource to have,” Deputy Maganzini said. He went on to affirm that by stopping drug possession and trafficking will help lower the crime rate in the county.

Jeda will not have set hours of work but will be limited to how much she can handle on a day-to-day basis.

The cost of Jeda and Deputy Maganzini’s training totaled $3,695. Much of the cost was contributed through the farmers and ranchers in Christmas Valley and North Lake. The Sheriff’s department raised $2,500 in grants and $4,800 from the county citizens to make this happen.

Sheriff Phil McDonald said that the department was trying to get a narcotic-detecting dog for years. “If it weren’t for the accumulation of efforts of the community, this wouldn’t have happened,” Sheriff McDonald said.

Jeda will patrol with Deputy Maganzini primarily, but she will also be available to the Lakeview Police Department and Oregon State Police Department in times of need. She will also be patrolling Lake County schools, both for good public relations as well as “keeping the kids honest,” Deputy Maganzini said.

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