A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court this week affirmed the policy of law-enforcement agencies that use drug-sniffing dogs during traffic stops. Some critics say it could expand the range officers can use to expand a search for no good reason, but Iowa’s among states that likely will continue the way it uses the trained K-9 officers. Iowa State Trooper John Hitchcock is a K-9 handler in District Three that includes Council Bluffs. He says when animals have long ago proved their value. It’s something the patrol doesn’t use on a daily basis, he says, but when the need arises to have a dog sniff a vehicle to determine if drugs are involved and there’s probable cause for a more intensive search, it’s valuable for the patrol to have them. Funding them and having enough troopers to spare one from road patrol to be a dog handler can add up to a big budget item…but Hitchcock says if there were a bigger budget it’s likely the department would support increasing the number of dogs and handlers. A week ago in a traffic stop on Interstate-80 a large amount of cash was found in the vehicle, a K-9 officer brought in “alerted” to the presence of drugs on the cash, and the people in the vehicle claimed they didn’t know where they money came from and swore it wasn’t theirs. 120-thousand dollars in cash was seized.
You are here: / / Iowa officials don’t anticipate changes in use of drug dogs