The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office has hired a new employee to take a bite out of crime.
The jail now has a full-time contraband sniffing K-9 named Han. He has been on the job for a month and jail officials said in a press conference on Wednesday he is already making an impact.
Sergeant Curtis Whittington, his handler, is proud to have the year-and-a-half-old German Shephard as his side-kick.
“We’ve had several inmates say when they see us coming in,” said Sgt. Wittington. “They start flushing.”
Flushing drugs and anything that may be illegal behind bars. Jail officials said the need for a full-time jail K-9 is essential for safety.
“It will make this a safer facility,” said Sheriff P.T. Taylor, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. “It will be safer for the employees, it will be safer for the inmates.”
An Oklahoma City law firm donated the funds to purchase and train Han, after hearing how he could save the county money. A K-9 can complete a search of a jail cell with accuracy and in a fraction of the time it can take multiple detention officers.
“We had no idea really the amount of manpower that is expended everyday by the Sheriff’s department,” said Bryce Johnson, attorney. “That a dog can cut down dramatically not only from a cost standpoint but just the number of people needed.”
Han is trained to sniff out drugs and anything that may smell like narcotics. Soon he will be certified to find cellphones and chargers.
The hard-working K-9 has already found contraband and word of his presence is spreading fast.
“They don’t want to get caught with whatever contraband they have,” said Sgt. Whittington. “So, we’re already making an impact.”
Jail officials said the K-9 will also help cut down drug-related fights, assaults and overdoses.