Luke the K9 cop back in the saddle | NevadaAppeal.com

Luke the K9 cop back in the saddle

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Nevada Appeal file photo Carson City's former K9 cop Luke has found a new beat at the Nevada State Prison. Luke will be sniffing for drugs inside the prison and on weekends during visitation. He's pictured here in October with Sheriff Kenny Furlong after the city discontinued its K9 program.

Former K9 cop Luke has had his share of ups and downs in his short furry life. When the K9 program was stopped at the Carson City Sheriff’s Department, the black Labrador had several months of uncertainty and a short stint in the animal shelter.

But he’s back on the job, sniffing for dope at the Nevada State Prison.

“People coming to the prison should know Luke’s there,” said Fritz Schlottman, corrections administrator.

On Saturday and Sunday Luke and his handler spent time inspecting visitors’ cars at the Fifth Street prison.

Schlottman said Luke alerted on a rental car belonging to a woman who came for visitation. The woman left the parking lot on foot and ended up at the Winner’s Corner down the street. When she returned to the lot, deputies didn’t find any drugs.

“He alerted on something, so it’s likely she disposed of the drugs on her walk,” he said.

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The woman’s visitation privileges were suspended.

During the week Luke will work in the interior of the prison – cells and inmates. On the weekends he’ll work visitations.

Schlottman said Luke’s keen sense will likely hamper the flow of drugs coming into the prison.

“Most of the drugs come in through visitation,” he said.

Sheriff Kenny Furlong said he’s happy to see Luke back to work.

“After an exhaustive search for a home, we’re glad that Luke can continue to work in Carson City where he belongs,” he said.

In 2003, the Nevada Department of Corrections eliminated its canine program as part of a reduction plan set by the governor.

With the donation of Luke, the program could be reinstated if Luke proves invaluable, Schlottman said.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.