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Court: Police don't have to prove K-9 training

Police do not have to extensively document a drug-sniffing dog's reliability in the field to uphold its work in court


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court says police do not have to extensively document a drug-sniffing dog's reliability in the field to uphold its work in court.

The high court in a unanimous decision Tuesday overturned the Florida Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Aldo, a drug-sniffing police dog.

Odin, a police dog, scratches at the gas tank door of a vehicle as New Jersey State Police trooper Chris Pastor works with his dog during a training exercise at the New Jersey Department of Public Works. (AP Image)
Odin, a police dog, scratches at the gas tank door of a vehicle as New Jersey State Police trooper Chris Pastor works with his dog during a training exercise at the New Jersey Department of Public Works. (AP Image)

That lower court threw out drug evidence obtained against Clayton Harris during a 2006 traffic stop. Aldo alerted his officer to drugs used to make methamphetamine inside a truck. But two months later, Harris was stopped again, Aldo again alerted his officer to the presence of drugs but none were  found.

The Florida court said in every case police have to bring records, including a log of performance in the field, to establish the dog's reliability in court. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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