by Morgan Buerke
Kaneland Krier Reporter
Kanelandâ€”A visit from Dakar, a police dog trained to sniff out drugs, helped Kaneland High School health teacher Cindy Miller educate students about the consequences of drug possession and use on Oct. 1.
â€œDrug dogs have found children (and) they have confiscated thousands of drugs,â€ Miller said. â€œThey have made students and faculty aware that we are a drug-free school and that we will not tolerate the use of drugs.â€
Deputy Terry Hoffman brought his canine companion to the high school library, where he gave a presentation about drug dogs to students in Millerâ€™s Contemporary Health class. Dakar, who was born in Hungary in 2007, has been with Hoffman since last November. All of Dakarâ€™s commands are in Hungarian so that Hoffman can command him without anyone knowing what heâ€™s been told to do.
Hoffman said that he has to watch closely for signs made by the dog because Dakar understands what his job is better than the police do. He points his nose and stares at any drug that he finds, but Hoffman knows Dakarâ€™s just playing when he isnâ€™t completely focused on the drug.
Hoffman said that he trains Dakar every day.
â€œI spend more time with this dog than my family,â€ Hoffman said. â€œPolice dogs are probably one of the most valuable tools to officers.â€
Junior Danielle Micek was one of the students at the presentation.
â€œIt was interesting. I thought the dogs were a good idea,â€ Micek said.
Dakar is trained in narcotics detection, tracking, building searches, evidence recovery area searches and handler protection, but Hoffman said that there were signs of Dakar being trained wrong when he went into a crime scene and didnâ€™t bite a stationary person.
As a new method of training, Hoffman got police officers into bite suits and told them to stay completely still and Dakar would have to go bite them.
â€œWe have to train the way we go out into the street,â€ Hoffman said. â€œI have no doubt, now, that he will bite a stationary person.â€