The City’s four-legged officers brought paw patrol to life during a drug awareness show in Manenberg this week.
The K9 unit took its drug awareness message to Rio Grande Primary School, which forms part of the duties of the furry officers and their handlers with dozens of shows across the metro every year.
Between July 2018 and April 2019, the unit received 102 requests from schools and other organisations for social crime prevention awareness initiatives, which include education, but also a display of the K9s abilities.
The City’s JP Smith says the service animals might be a menace to criminals, but can also put their best paw forward when it comes to raising awareness and education.
“They are a hit among children and law-abiding adults and play an integral role in relationship building between the Metro Police Department and members of the public.”
The unit consists of 25 canines, 20 of whom are on active duty and specialising in the detection of narcotics, explosives and copper. Three are currently on training, one is breeding and another one has been seconded to assist the Law Enforcement Metal Theft Unit.
Aside from the school awareness shows, the unit also conducts searches at the request of schools or the South African Police Service. Over the last 10 months the unit received 82 such requests.
Since the beginning of the year, during the course of their general enforcement efforts, the K9 unit has made 48 arrests, including 33 of those for possession of drugs. Nearly two thousand units of drugs and R14 500 in cash have been confiscated.
“Our K9s undergo rigorous training and are able to sniff out narcotics and other contraband in the most interesting places. Drug dealers have become extremely creative with how they hide their product, so the canines are critical to our efforts to detect contraband that might otherwise be left undiscovered.”
The Metro Police K9s are a menace to criminals, but they also put their best paw forward for social crime prevention initiatives, like drug awareness shows at schools. https://t.co/anjLUigvfb #CTNews pic.twitter.com/f67DRMn773
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) May 16, 2019