Study: Drug K-9s only as good as handlers

Drugs or drug paraphernalia turned up in only 44 percent of the vehicles to which dogs "alerted" officers


Editor’s Note:

Editor's Note: This study was conducted by the Chicago Tribune. It was not produced by PoliceOne, but we'd like for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below the article.

By Jacob Sullum
Gale Group

CHICAGO — Back in 2005, when the Supreme Court approved the use of drug-detecting dogs during routine traffic stops, dissenting Justice David Souter noted that "the infallible dog ... is a creature of legal fiction" A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune supports Souter's conclusion.

Examining records of traffic stops in the Chicago suburbs, the Tribune found that police turned up drugs or drug paraphernalia in only 44 percent of the vehicles to which dogs "alerted."

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