Drug dog aids U of L police in campus sweeps for illegal substan - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Drug dog aids U of L police in campus sweeps for illegal substances

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville officials say keeping drugs away from campus is a top priority and there's a new recruit helping to sniff out illegal activity.

His name is Sampson and he's a two-year-old lab rescue that joined U of L's police force in March.

"Sampson is trained to detect marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine," said handler Dion Dodson, a former LMPD officer who retired after 28 years.

"I'm just watching the dog to see how he reacts," he explained of their process.

Sampson spent six weeks in training. To show us what he learned, Officer Dodson hid marijuana and it took the dog less than 30 seconds to find it.

Officers hope Sampson's presence on campus will be a deterrent. Records show between January 31st and September 30th of this year, U of L police responded to 24 drug calls. Ten of those involved marijuana on campus in five residence halls.

The remaining 14 involved marijuana found off-campus.

There were six officer initiated vehicle stops along adjacent streets to the university that resulted in locating marijuana off campus.

There were 23 arrests made for the drug offenses and one referral to Campus Life.

"Any marijuana of course is an issue, any illegal substance is an issue but it's not something that every dorm is plagued with on campus," said Dodson.

He and Sampson do random drug sweeps throughout campus all semester. We followed the two around Minardi Hall.

Once inside, Sampson is let loose to roam the halls sniffing everywhere to see if he can get a whiff of anything illegal. If something is detected, officers can search the room.

"If they don't give us consent,” said Dodson, “then we can always back out and get a search warrant or turn it over to the university authorities themselves, separate from police, because we don't want any illegal search or violation of civil rights."

We followed Sampson through two floors, but nothing was found.

"That's not to say there's not any drugs here on campus, or that we're trying to breeze through anything, he's in there looking and if he doesn't hit on anything we're not going to take it any farther than that," said Dodson.

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