New police pup Kobe ready to sniff out drugs
KOBE the labrador doesn't know it yet, but next week she will start an intensive 14- month training program that will set her up to become a member of the crime-busting Dog Operations Unit of the NT Police.
At just 13 weeks, she was hand-picked from a litter in rural Victoria.
Her siblings have been sent off to police jurisdictions across Australia, where they too will be trained up to sniff out drugs.
Her trainer, Dog Operations Unit Acting Senior Sergeant Tyron Bellman, said she would begin training this week.
"She does three sessions a day, plus environmental work, and it will be ongoing 'til she's 14 to 18 months old," Sergeant Bellman said.
"In that time, she'll learn all facets of detection training, so searching people, bags, houses, planes, cars, boats and that kind of thing."
She will be trained up to respond to a range of narcotics, including methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.
Named after the famous basketball player Kobe Bryant, the pooch is fearless and playful with a solid sense of adventure.
Sergeant Bellman said she would be destined to work in Alice Springs when she eventually graduated, and would take over from Yakka, who is due to retire.
There are 10 dogs in the detection unit. They work across the NT where required.
Kobe has big shoes to fill, with the dog unit sniffing out a sizeable amount of illicit substances last financial year, including 170.9kg of cannabis, 90.8g of methamphetamine, 47.4g of MDMA, 40.9g of cocaine and 54.3kg of kava.
The busts have resulted in 146 arrests, summons and notices to appear, and 185 infringements.
Early next year she will be joined by another pup who will also be put through the training.
Sergeant Bellman encouraged people to come up and say hello when out and about, as it was good for the dog to be exposed to people as much as possible.
However, he requested people to ask first before giving the dogs a pat, in case they were on the job.
Originally published as New police pup Kobe ready to hit the streets to sniff out drugs