Local law enforcement, state police to retire K9s as marijuana becomes legal in Virginia

ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – In three weeks, a big change is coming to the Commonwealth as Virginia’s new law to legalize recreational use of marijuana will take effect. The change impacts police departments across the state and their K9 officers.

“It’s really going to impact us,” admitted Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall. “The ability to be able to search suspected vehicles for narcotics trafficking, and also those animals are used to search our schools on a random basis.”

Hall, whose department will possibly lose two dogs, says this loss cripples his narcotics officers, and pockets just aren’t deep enough to purchase new K9s right away.

Sheriff Hall says the dogs can cost upwards of $15,000. A possible solution is to use the dogs solely for suspect tracking and apprehension since they are dual-trained, but it essentially wastes the extra money spent for drug detection training.

“Although it’s very important to us, there are some other things in the budget that’s really needed,” admitted Sheriff Hall.

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Roanoke County Police aren’t losing dogs, but Chief Howard Hall is more so worried about the law itself.

“The implementation of this in my view is really irresponsible. It’s not well done. It is going to cause considerable problems,” said Chief Hall.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will retire 5-year-old Kilo. He is trained in methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana detection.

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