Molly Trained to Sniff out Drugs at County Jail

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MANSFIELD, Ohio-- The Richland County Sheriff's Department has a new tool for fighting illegal drugs smuggled into their jail: a two-year-old Australian Shepherd named Molly.

“Get the dope Molly," said Sgt. Jim Sweat. That's the command for her to spring into action to find illegal drugs or contraband in an inmate's cell at the Richland County Jail.

"If they received a complaint from within the facility or an external complaint that there could possibly be contraband within a specific location, the dog would then be brought to that area. We would remove the inmate from that area and then conduct a search of their belongings," said Sgt. Sweat.

Molly has been training for her new duties at the Richland County Jail since last year. Tuesday, her handler showed FOX 8 how she sniffs for concealed drugs.

"What she was doing was looking for marijuana that we had hidden by the storage room here. The basic principles for that is she's associating the odor that we've trained with her for a reward and to alert she aggressively scratches at the location," said Sgt. Sweat.

Richland County sheriff deputies said they've received reports of contraband being smuggled into the jail so they wanted a deterrent. They feel like a specially-trained dog like Molly will sniff out the drugs and make a difference at the county jail.

"I think having her on grounds 24/7, if we receive information that there is drugs in the jail and to do some random searches that we'll be able to deter it and also perhaps discover contraband that has been brought into the jail," said Major Joe Masi of the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Molly has a couple more weeks of training before she goes on the job on March 20.

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