Clinton Police will soon be adding a K-9 to its roster.
City of Clinton Police Chief John Willoughby said the department has recently gotten a Belgium Malnois breed from Faulkner County. The dog will be used for drug interdiction and tracking duties, he said.
Willoughby said the department is currently in the process of equipping a vehicle to support the K-9. An officer has been selected for training with the animal, scheduled to take place in June. After training, the pair will begin law enforcement duties.
Willoughby said the availability of a dog would increase the number of drug arrests in the county.
“Hopefully this [use of a K-9] will get more drugs off the street, make more of a dent in it,” Willoughby said.
With the addition of this officer, Van Buren County will soon have four K-9s in service, three with the sheriff’s department, all added since January 1.
A ride-along last year during a saturation sweep of the city had officers frustrated when a dog was not available to sweep a car which had been stopped. Officers were suspicious of what might be in the car, but the car’s occupants would not consent to a search, at which point the only option open to police was the use of a dog.