The Graham Police Department is proud to finally add their first canine and new member, Marco, to its staff. Graham Police say Marco can help fight against an increasing amount of drug-related offenses. Police say K-9 units have a keen sense of smell and detection humans don't possess.
Police told us there are more than 3,000 criminal offenses per year in Graham, 70 percent of which are drug-related. Graham Police Department Chief Tony Widner says, "Drugs that are prevalent in our area meth , marijuana; it's becoming more and more of a problem. It affects people's lives; it's destroying families." After six weeks of intensive training in Louisiana, Marco is being put to work.
Graham Police Department Sergeant Devin Wright says, "We put in a lot of hours, especially on the narcotics end, repetitive training." Marco put that training in motion during a search today. Police say the K-9 did not find illegal substances in the vehicle he searched, but did a great job verifying.
Graham Residents are happy with this new addition and believe it will be an effective way of helping minimize drugs in the community. Tina Loughlin says, "I think it will be a good thing because it will be easier to track down drugs and stuff with the dog." And Nancy McKinley says, "I think it'd be great because they need some help getting drugs out of Graham."
Graham Police thank the community and Citizens Police Auxiliary for raising the $50,000 needed to add Marco to the force, and a new canine police vehicle. Police say everybody in Graham has a friend or family member affected by drugs, and say it's mainly meth. They hope with Marco, they will be able to take more drugs off the streets.