Lynchburg, VA - The Lynchburg Police Department unveiled a brand new facility dedicated to drug prevention training Wednesday. But the building isn't for the men and women in blue; it's for their canines.
Police believe the facility's going to make their canines a lot smarter on the street. They say after training their dogs at the facility, they'll be able to find drugs faster.
"Hey, Buddy, are you ready to go to work? Let's Go," said Gary Abbott with LPD.
Abbott and his dog Toro are together day and night.
"Kind of like your pet at the house and he's your partner and backup at work," said Abbott.
But their bonding began only six months ago. Abbott's last dog, Bodo, died in January.
"I got up the next morning to go to work and he'd passed away during the night. So, yeah, that was quite the shock," said Abbott.
He worked with Bodo six and a half years.
"He was, I guess, what you'd call push button. I mean, if you said it, he did it. There's no perfect dog, but he was probably as close as you can get. This thing right here kind of has a mind of its own. He's a little more high strung," said Abbott.
Toro is only 2 years old. This new training facility is going to get him up to Bodo's speed.
"The little screen, that's where the drugs are hidden," said Abbott.
The more practice he gets here, the better he'll be out there.
"We're able to take more narcotics off the street this way. The better trained the dogs is the more narcotics we'll take off the street and wherever else," said Abbott.
Areva, Lynchburg College, and the Lynchburg Police Foundation provided the funding for the building, while students from Heritage High School helped build it.