Tioga police welcome four-legged sleuth - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Tioga police welcome four-legged sleuth

Posted: Updated:
Officer Christopher Black with Tioga's new police dog, Duke. (KTEN) Officer Christopher Black with Tioga's new police dog, Duke. (KTEN)
Duke checks a KTEN news vehicle for the scent of illegal drugs. (KTEN) Duke checks a KTEN news vehicle for the scent of illegal drugs. (KTEN)

TIOGA, Texas -- A small town usually means familiar faces. But in Tioga, there's a new one walking the streets.

And he has four legs.

Duke is the new narcotics dog at the Tioga Police Department.

"Him and I, we're both goofy, so we get along really well," said Officer Christopher Black, the dog's partner.

Duke is a yellow Labrador mix, almost two years old. His job is to help get drugs off the streets.

"It's very difficult finding narcotics just on a routine traffic stop and you need probable cause, a good, solid, certified probable cause," said Chief Curtis Macomb. "So we got to talking about a narcotics dog."

Tioga is on U.S. 377 in southwest Grayson County. Black said it's a major thoroughfare for people moving drugs.

"Anywhere that you have a main highway, there's going to be people running dope, because they gotta get it from where they're going to make it to where they're going to sell it," he said.

A drug dog can be a big investment for a small police department, with a price tag as much as $60,000.  But Duke he didn't cost Tioga taxpayers a dime.

"We got sponsorships from many business around town and a few citizens," Macomb said. "Collectively with their contributions as well as other people in law enforcement making contributions ... we were able to put this program into effect."

And since the community donated to the department, the chief said they want to use Duke to pay back the community.

Until now, the Tioga Independent School District has contracted with a company to search for drugs on campus, but Chief Macomb said they will offer up Duke and his services at no charge.

He also said they want to give surrounding cities access to Duke to take one step closer to fighting the war on drugs.

"We hope that we'll establish a reputation like, 'We need to stay away from Tioga because Duke is here now,'" Macomb said.

Duke was trained at Universal K9 in San Antonio. He and Officer Black will continue training together in North Texas.