By Katie Anderson
Officer K9 Loki and his handler Corporal Pat Burton have been busy lately with a recent drug seize in Licking. According to the Licking Police Department, on July 3, at approximately 2:52 a.m., a Licking police officer observed a vehicle with an equipment violation traveling westbound on MO-32. A traffic stop resulted from the violation. The Licking K9 Unit was requested during the traffic stop and a short-term drug investigation was conducted.
During the search of the vehicle, approximately nine (9) grams of Methamphetamine, approximately seven (7) grams of Marijuana and DEA Schedule Two Controlled Substance prescription pills were located and seized from inside the vehicle. Also located inside the vehicle were an electronic scale, baggies, drug paraphernalia and $3,980.
Timothy Joel Miller, age 31, of Kansas City, was arrested for possession with intent to distribute/deliver/manufacture/produce a controlled substance possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Miller was transported to the Texas County Jail and placed on a 24-hour hold.
“There was enough evidence that he was doing distribution,” said Lindsey about the recent drug seize. “All these drug cases tie in together and we will look at all the possibilities on that.”
All seized narcotics will be forwarded to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab for further analysis. Once the analysis is confirmed, probable cause statements will be forwarded to the Texas County Prosecutor’s Office seeking formal charges.
The above information is just a mere accusation, and is not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of any charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
The Licking Police Department first procured Loki back in October 2017 in Michigan through the FMK9. Cpl. Burton spent three weeks training with Loki.
“We focused on obedience and narcotics,” said Burton. “The training had it set up like a real-world experience. There were houses, schools, and other buildings that they [the dogs] would search through.”
Burton also continued with saying that Loki really enjoys his work, “There’s really not an on or off switch for him. He always has that drive to work. On or off work, he likes chasing the ball; he likes to play fetch.”
“When the dog is searching for narcotics or a person, they want to please you. He is trained that whenever he picks up the scent of a narcotic, the source of it, he will alert it. That’s where he thinks the ball [his reward] is coming from.”
So, on and off of work, his ball is his reward and is a fun time for him [Loki].
“Just like people get paid a paycheck for working, Loki gets paid with time playing fetch with his ball, and while on duty, finding the scent is his “paycheck” or “ball time.”
“I praise him up and give him rewards,” said Burton. “He gets a lot of physical and verbal emotional praise from me.”
Sara, the black lab, was the first K9 unit that Licking got back in 2013.
Was it tough to decide to get another K9 unit?
“When you look at the commitment and time that the handler puts into the K9 unit, that’s the only thing that made it a decision I had to think about as the chief,” said Chief of Police Scott Lindsey. “It requires so much time on his [Pat’s] part, and we are a small department so we have to evaluate time. We want to do everything we can to get drugs off the street, and our community, so when you look at that aspect, you say sure, but you also have to remember we have a five-man department and we have to make sure we have someone on duty 24-7. We had to look at that and also the proper care and training for the dog.”
Burton stated that he does really get attached to the dogs and was like losing a child when he lost Sara. “It was a lot more than I was expecting when I started. Still having to run patrol and traffic, which you can use the dog that way, but there’s just a lot more paperwork involved and time.”
Since getting Loki, they have had about 13 drug investigations in the past month, and Loki has been involved in just about all of them.
“Just the fact that we have the dog available, and people knowing that, makes a big difference,” said Lindsey. “People know we have that option; that we can call the dog, so it has that effect. I think having the K9 available really helps all the drug investigations this department does in a positive way.”
“It deters more people from bringing the drugs into town just knowing that we have the K9 unit here,” said Burton. “It doesn’t keep all of them out, but it does help a lot.”
“I think it’s going well including the recent evidence,” said Lindsey. “I’m pleased with how Pat has been handling the K9 and how the program is going.”