This column is an interview with Globe Police Department K-9 Unit Brian Hudson.
Sentinel: How long have you worked with Globe PD?
Officer Hudson: Close to six years.
S: How long have you had Dewey?
OH: I’ve had him for two years in August.
S: In the last few years, have you seen an increase or decrease in drug activity?
OH: Most of my activity is in the schools. There we have had a 40-percent reduction in the high school and a 34-percent reduction at High Desert Middle School. However, overall, there is still a significant drug problem in Globe.
S: What kinds of drugs are you finding in Globe?
OH: Mostly marijuana and meth, but there seems to be an increase in cocaine and heroin.
S: Has meth use increased or decreased since you joined Globe PD?
OH: Meth use has increased due to availability. It’s a constant battle.
S: What is Globe PD doing to combat the drug situation?
OH: Our drug dog, Dewey, is a significant tool. PD officers are constantly training, gaining experience in seeking out drug activity.
S: Do you feel it has been successful?
OH: I think so. The core group of police officers is active at being pro-active in finding illegal drug use. All of the officers are stepping up; all of them seek out drug activity on traffic stops and other situations. We’re always alert and looking.
S: What types of programs do you feel work best in the fight against drugs?
OH: Getting to the youth early by starting their education with the first-, second-, third- and fourth-grades. I think the DARE program and school resource officers make a big difference. I work with the kids at Copper Rim Elementary. If you get them young, then carry (education) through the higher grades. Let them know the dangers of drugs. At the earlier ages they want to do good, the right thing, and peer pressure at that age wants them to do good.
S: What would you like to see more of?
OH: I’d like to see more attention on the youth through fun activities. We could use more officer positions dedicated to (detecting illegal) narcotic use. Right now that’s tough in the current economic environment. There are too many generations using drugs. The only way to combat that is get the kids attention when they are young.
S: How has having Dewey influenced the drug scene in Globe?
OH: In the schools, it’s an outlet for the kids to get to know both Dewey and me. It’s a visible deterrent, knowing the dog can sniff out drugs. Dewey is the equivalent of a power tool in a toolbox. He’s a big hit with the kids. He’s also been successful on the streets with narcotic hits. It’s going to continue to get better. I hope Globe PD has a K-9 for a long time.
Since December 2007, we’ve had 100 validated alerts. This includes pipes and contraband in vehicles. A dog can alert for up to four to six weeks after a person actually has had the drug on them.
Globe PD strives to be pro-active in combating narcotic activity. We want people to let us know if there is some suspicious activity in their neighborhood. We welcome any help from the public to fight the drug problem. We will use the information to our advantage to hunt down drug users and help maintain a drug-free community. That is our goal.
Presented by the Gila County Meth Coalition