Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich called Tuesday for expanding the use of trained dogs to sniff out drugs and weapons during probation searches.

The Probation Department employs an outside contractor to conduct searches of juvenile halls and camps. That contractor uses dogs to track down contraband.

However, the department’s D.I.S.A.R.M. team, which conducts compliance checks of adult probationers, doesn’t have the benefit of canine patrols.

Antonovich was the champion of the Developing Increased Safety through Arms Reduction Management program, which began in February 2000. He credits the effort with 228,331 searches seizing nearly $730 million of drugs and almost 11,000 weapons from high-risk probationers.

Using dogs would make searches faster and more efficient, Antonovich said.

“Having personally participated in D.I.S.A.R.M. search operations, I have witnessed the challenges faced by these probation officers and the vital need for canine assistance,” Antonovich said.

“The use of these specially trained dogs for detection of weapons and narcotics can improve safety concerns and allow residents to resume their normal daily activities sooner and with less disruption.”

—City News Service

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