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First K9 Joins UND Police Force - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

First K9 Joins UND Police Force

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The University of North Dakota campus is welcoming it's first furry crime fighter.  Ben is a two-year-old yellow labrador retriever and is the school's first K9 unit.

Ben is a "dual-purpose" dog, which means he can sniff out drugs and track people. The department says Ben can find marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth, ecstasy and other narcotics. He will be used when there is a suspicion of drugs on campus, or if someone goes missing. Sgt. Danny Weigel says Ben will be a huge benefit to the university and the community.

"Having this dog is going to put us at a new level of what we can do, and a better service we can offer the university," Weigel explains.

Two officers drove to Iowa to pick up the K9. He was purchased from Northern Iowa K9. Officer Jose Solis will be Ben's partner and spent one week bonding with the dog in Iowa.  The owner of Northern Iowa K9 is now in Grand Forks training Ben to get used to campus and the community. 

Campus police say they hope having Ben will deter those thinking about bringing drugs to the school.

"With his keen sense of smell, he's going to be able to locate narcotics faster than we are. Just because he has that ability to sniff them out and just do it a whole lot faster than officers," Weigel says.

The UND's Residence Halls Association helped purchase Ben. His first day on the job is next Monday, and he will be officially sworn in at a ceremony on August 11.

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