Police go all in to promote drug dog
Marion Police Department has spent more than $1,100 on poker chips and challenge coins featuring its drug-sniffing police dog, Blue — money well-spent for community engagement, Chief Clinton Jeffrey says.
The department bought 500 poker chips for $413 and 50 silver-colored coins for $693, records from a recent city council meeting show.
Police used proceeds from registration of special-purpose vehicles such as golf carts and all-terrain vehicles to pay for the chips and coins, Jeffrey said. The department ordered the chips to hand out at Old Settlers Day and other events.
Jeffrey considers the chips and coins public relations tools.
He handed one to a girl who initially had appeared scared of police, and her disposition changed, he said.
“The dog has been an icebreaker for us,” Jeffrey said.
The department added Blue, a Belgian malinois, just less than three years ago.
Hillsboro police and Marion County sheriff’s deputies have used Blue — named for the Velociraptor in the “Jurassic Park” franchise — as have Marion, Peabody, McPherson, Canton-Galva, Newton, Moundridge, Hesston, and Tabor schools.
Blue is trained to sniff for methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy as well as in tracking and evidence recovery.
The department may sell coins to raise money for costs associated with the dog, Jeffrey said.
Last modified Sept. 1, 2022