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Drug Sniffing Dogs More Often Wrong Than Right

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A recent analysis of three years of drug-sniffing dog alerts during car stops in Illinois has shown that only 44 percent of all alerts lead to discoveries of drugs. In car stop searches involving Hispanics, that success rate was only 27 percent.

Trainers and officers who have dog partners argue the scent of drugs can linger long after drugs are removed from a car and dog´s noses are sensitive enough to pick up on that. Even advocates have said many dog-and-officer teams are not trained enough.

Alex Rothacker, who has trained dozens of drug-sniffing dogs said, "If you don´t train, you can´t be confident in your dog. A lot of dogs don´t train. A lot of dogs aren´t good." There isn´t any standard for performance of dogs in most states.

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