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Dogs from K9s4COPSs have assisted with taking over $2 billion worth of contraband off streets

The organization is currently searching for someone who can assist with computer programming and technology-related tasks as it grows.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:41 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - On Tuesday, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office announced the seizure of 15 pounds of meth during a traffic stop. This happened on Sunday on Interstate 10, a 39-year-old man from California was arrested. The street value of this was about $500,000. This was done thanks to Sergeant Thumann and his K9 partner Kolt.

In Fayette County, Kolt is just one of many K9 officers in communities and schools all across the nation thanks to the organization K9s4COPs.

Kristi Schiller, the founder of K9s4COPs joined First News at Four to talk about the organization. Schiller was inspired to start the organization 12 years ago after seeing on the news that a dog was killed in the line of duty and their department did not have the funds to keep doing their job. She tried to donate a dog as a civilian and they informed her that she needed to go through a nonprofit. Realizing there was not a nonprofit that did this, Schiller started her own. Today they have donated K9s to over 250 departments from all over the United States to even Nigeria and France. They recently hit the $2.5 billion mark.

If an agency doesn’t have a K9 officer it’s probably because they are expensive. K9s cost between $15,000-$45,000 per dog, and most agencies struggle when budgeting for the purchase and initial training of a K9. What most departments can budget for, however, is the required care, ongoing training, and transportation of a K9. This is where K9s4COPs comes in, donating fully trained K9s to communities and schools.

While the K9s can be very costly, Schiller believes “the rewards can be wonderful.” Working K9s receive specific training to assist law enforcement or fire departments in ways other tools cannot. The structure of a dog’s nose gives it a sense of smell that is 300,000-500,000 times stronger than the human nose, allowing them to follow a scent trail undetectable to humans, even breaking down specific scents. For that reason, K9s are used to sweep buildings for explosives, search for narcotics, locate missing persons, apprehend suspects on the run, and solve crimes.

One of the K9s that the Houston Police Department has, Nate, made news recently after being stabbed in the chest during a close call. Luckily, Schiller says he is alright and was wearing a protective vest that day. Schiller explained that Nate did exactly what he was trained to do-- “which was protect his handler and everyone around him at all cost.”

With K9s4COPs, Schiller hoped to give law enforcement every possible advantage they have. Schiller revealed that “the K9s have assisted with taking in about $2 billion worth of contraband off streets.

For anyone at home who wants to help, visit K9s4COPs.org to donate or find more information.

Schiller also admits they have “a database that is overwhelmed with information,” so anyone who is a computer programmer or a software designer, they would love the help. If you’re interested click here to reach out to the organization.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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