New K-9 officer to help fight drugs in Atoka - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

New K-9 officer to help fight drugs in Atoka

The Atoka police department is excited to welcome its newest officer to the force - a three-year-old German Shepard named Justice. 

Justice just returned from two months of intense training, and K-9 Officer Bill White said Tuesday he's ready to hit the streets, looking for criminals.

"He's trained to detect the smell of narcotics such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine,” White said.

Atoka officers said they hope their new investment will keep drugs out of their small town.

"Do we have a problem with it in Atoka? No. Is there a problem with it coming up Highway 51? Most definitely.  It's coming out of Memphis, and is being transported to further regions up north," White said.

Police in Atoka say one in every seven cars that travel along major roadways like Highway 51 have illegal drugs or substances inside, and they're hoping with Justice, these numbers will go down.

 “It is a major thing. As they put pressure on these interstates, these dealers are going to go somewhere else," said Atoka Police Chief Jessie Poole.

And going somewhere else is exactly what police hope criminals will do. They hope Justice sends a direct message that they're being proactive when it comes to fighting criminal activity.

"To keep drugs off our streets - make our streets safer for our kids as they get older and start driving,” said Atoka Alderman Chris McConnell.

White the K-9 is a small investment for a town hoping to take a big bite out of crime.

Justice will be with the department for about 6 or 7 years, which means he will be around 9-years-old when he retires.

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