A ruling by the Supreme Court states that law enforcement cannot bring drug-sniffing dogs onto a person TMs property to search for evidence of a crime without first getting a search warrant.
Before---these dogs could be used to secure a probable cause affidavit---which is used to get a search warrant.
Well that 5-4 ruling has put a stop to that.
Meet Dick, he TMs not just man's best friend.
He has an important job to do---catch the bad guys.
"The K-9 unit is probably one of the most important assets that we have in fighting crime," Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.
K-9's like Dick are used daily.
His duties include putting his nose to the ground to sniff out drugs, guns, and explosives. Dick's been training to be a narcotics detector dog since birth his sense of smell is his biggest asset in assisting deputies to detect what they can TMt.
Dick makes 1 of 6 deputies in the K-9 unit.
Sheriff Trevino said they've been such a help to the departments. He is looking to purchase 3 more K-9's soon. "It TMs sad that it happened because I believe it TMs a good thing to be able to put a dog outside a house as long as we don TMt enter until we get a search warrant," Sheriff Trevino said. Trevino said if they were to get a tip, that there is large amount of marijuana stashed at home and they go by and there's no answer, typically the K-9 would be called in to sniff around the premises. If the dog alerts them to something the department would consider that, sufficient probable cause to get a search warrant but that's about to change.
Now the sheriff is left with a lot of questions.
"How much does it limit us? What does it take away from us? What can we still do? Without doubt it TMs going to change our protocol," Sheriff Trevino said.
Now it's back to the training room for Dick and his human handler.
So they can all learn the new ways our furry friends have to do their job.
Sheriff Trevino said he doesn't know why judges and lawyers would issue a ruling that could hinder security.
He said that it leaves him with his hands tied to a certain extent in those type of operations.