LMPD K-9s get 'high' in search of drugs, criminals - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD K-9s get 'high' in search of drugs, criminals

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's fast, efficient and helps protect LMPD officers and their K-9s when searching attics for wanted criminals.

Police say attic searches are more common than you might think. That’s why First-In-K9 developed a pulley system that is able to a hoist a dog into the attic in less than a minute.

LMPD K-9s are being trained with the new device. While the goal to attack the criminal is the same, the execution is much different. A handler getting his dog up to an attic has not been an easy task nor a safe one.

“They think that's the last place we'll look for them,” said LMPD K-9 Officer John Kirk.

“Picking an 80 pound dog up and climbing a latter up with him and exposing your head at the same time you're putting the dog up there... if somebody's got a bad intention for you, it puts you in a real bad spot,” said Eddie Wescott a former LMPD K-9 unit officer and co-founder of First-In-K9.

That was until now. Wescott, who currently works with Jeffersontown Police, and his partner Kenneth Moran developed a claw to attach to an attic beam and pull the dog up

“It puts the dog up there instead of the officer. And that's what we're trying to do -- save officers from injuries and getting killed,” Wescott said.

Bone Dry Waterproofing donated $4,000 to LMPD to buy ten of the Canine Attic Deployment Systems.

Handler Kirk said he searches attics with his dog for felons or drugs about once every ten days.

“They know their attic better than we do so putting our dogs up there allows them to use their nose and find them where they are,” Kirk said.

“Obviously we don't want anything to happen to the dog, but police lives are what we're concerned about,” Wescott said.

The new system took about a year to develop. It also makes it safer for the dog to get down from the attic.

“Because you're trying to push them into a ten foot hole and it's like pushing an octopus into a ten foot hole. It's really hard. This is so much better,” Wescott said.

In the three weeks that the pulley system has been available, LMPD, Jeffersonville Police and a police department in Alabama have all purchased the devices.

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