The addition of police dogs to patrol duties is reflected in a growing number of drug arrests in the county, Van Buren County Sheriff Lucas Emberton said.

Emberton showed statistics for the two K9 in the department, Jack and Silas, both on duty since April 25.

“In two weeks we’ve had a good turn-up with them,” Emberton said.

Since that time, K9 Jack was used in 12 “utilizations,” where the dog was used to search a car, resulting in eight “arrests, warrants, or citations,” the sheriff said.

A typical utilization would be an officer asking for permission to search a car in the course of a traffic stop. If the car’s driver refuses a search, a K9 is escorted around the perimeter of the car. If the dog “hits,” that is shows an indication that drugs are in the car, a further search is undertaken.

Without a K9, refusing permission for a search ends the investigation. With a K9 a search of the car’s perimeter is still legally permissible.

K9 Silas shows, since entering duty April 25, eight utilizations with six arrests, warrants, or citations, Emberton said.

Both dogs have also been used for searches at Clinton and Shirley schools, Emberton said. In those cases no drugs were found.