Luke, a black Labrador Retriever, is a welcome addition to the team.
“He’s trained to locate narcotics, or the narcotic odor,” said Deputy Pete Peterson, Luke’s handler. He said the Lab can detect everything –from pot and hashish to cocaine and heroin.
But unlike other police dogs, Luke is based on the water. He’s a member of the Martin County Sheriff’s Marine Unit which patrols the waters off Stuart and Sewall’s Point.
Luke is the first dog in the marine unit and a valuable addition to the team since Martin County is a busy thoroughfare for boating, and potential drug smuggling.
The deputies took CBS reporters to a boat where they had planted drugs, to test Luke’s skills.
Luke quickly reacted at the location where deputies had hidden a package of methamphetamine! And the Labrador’s reward for showing off his important skill? He gets to play with a tennis ball!
Deputy Peterson has worked with police dogs for 14 years, but only moved recently to the Marine Unit.
“We don’t have easy access to the K-9’s that are on land,” Deputy Peterson explained. “It just makes it a lot easier, a lot faster response time, to get the dog out there to the boat.”