Meet Marley! This drug-detecting Labrador has a new job!
Marley is leaving the Alaska State Troopers to join the Department of Corrections, state officials announced.
A career swap in the K-9 department is rare but Marley is making the change because his handler is also switching jobs. The dogs handler has moved from the trooper drug unit to patrol, said agency spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.
News of Marley’s new job reached Gov. Bill Walker.On his official Facebook page, the governor posted about the 8-year-old Labrador Retriever.
In January, the Juneau Empire reported that Department of Public Safety Commissioner Gary Folger told a legislative subcommittee that trooper dogs that detect marijuana would have to be retired as the drug had become legal.
“Marley could no longer perform duties for AST due to the change in the legalization of marijuana; however marijuana is still considered contraband within all DOC facilities,” the post said.
But Ipsen, the trooper spokeswoman, said that is not correct.
“As far as I know it was because (his handler) was transferring to patrol,” Ipsen said. “We have other dogs with the same certifications that are still working for us.”
Marley is a single-purpose dog, Ipsen said. This means he can find drugs but is not used for patrol purposes such as tracking suspects.
Starting this month, Marley will work with his new partner, prisoner transportation officer Lynn Hayes. He will also be traveling the state to visit community residential centers in search of contraband, according to a Corrections Department news release.
“Once acclimated to his new patrol areas, K-9 Marley will be used to check vehicles, packages and general areas within the (prison) institutions and CRCs,” the department wrote.