Most Viewed Stories
Narc dog finds marijuana in classroom
It did not take long for Raiza, a Belgian Malamar narcotic dog belonging to Tulare County Probation Officer Phil Lozano, to sniff around Granite Hill High School’s Room 901 to find what she was looking for — a small plastic bag filled with marijuana.
The drug was deliberately hid in the back of the first drawer of a filing cabinet as an exercise for Raiza, and to demonstrate to Rich Lambie’s Law and Justice Academy students how effective and fast the narcotic-sniffing trained dog worked.
Upon entering the room, and after a couple of commands, Raiza was ready to work.
As the students in the classroom watched, Raiza sniffed to one side of the classroom and promptly left it for the other side of the room. As she neared a filing cabinet, she placed her two front feet on the cabinet and started scratching at it and barking.
“Marijuana has a common distinctive odor,” Lozano said to the class on Sept. 14. “And dogs have a 1 million times greater sense of smell than humans.”
To the normal human nose, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine have no scent, but to a trained dog, his nose knows, Lozano said.
Lozano, the first handler for the Tulare County Probation, talked about applying for a narcotic police dog grant, the start-up fees, including $12.5 thousand to purchase the dog, $30 thousand for his white police Suburban Tahoe, $10,000 to outfit the vehicle with a kennel, an alarm and a cooling system, and another $3,500 to $10,000 for the training and lodging.
“She’s a major investment. If that dog gets the sniffles, she goes to the doctor. She has two yearly checkups, is on monthly meds and on supplements for her joints,” he said. “My dog is trained to protect me or another officer. She is not used to chase a criminal. We can deploy to protect the public but really never do. She’s a narcotic dog.”
Lozano also talked to the students about the job opportunities as a police officer versus the numerous opportunities as a probation officer.
“There are so many jobs in probation. Out of all [law enforcement jobs] probation has the most opportunities to do different things,” he said. “With the police department, you can be on patrol, be a detective, be a motorcycle patrol, a school officer or a K-9 officer — about five to seven jobs and that’s it.”
But with the probation department, the list is endless with jobs as investigators of adults or juveniles, intake officers, teachers, and can work in gang units, drug units, D.U.I. units, mental health, special investigation, courts, and working with high-risk adults or juveniles.
Lozano also touched on the requirements and the importance of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, or sociology.
“A background check will be done,” he said. “Stay out of trouble. Decisions you make today will affect you for the rest of your life.”
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045, or email@example.com.