The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says one of their K-9 officers along with his handler have become the first dog and handler duo in the U.S to certify in cellphone detection.
Riley, who was a stray and donated to the DOC is part of a team of dogs that are certified as narcotic and tracking dogs.
Officials say the DOC has used K-9s in facilities for over the last decade, but last year the department restructured making drug and cellphone detection a top priority.
“These dogs are one of the best resources we have to fight the ongoing contraband problem we face,” said Lance Hetmer, chief administrator of safety and special security operations and head of the DOC's K-9 training program.
“There are limitless possibilities as to what we can do with them.”
This past week, during his certification, officials said Riley hit on 100 percent of the cellphones that were hidden. He even found a cellphone officials did not know was there.
Interim Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the program’s success is leading to safer facilities and he looks forward to the future of the program.
“I commend the officers and administrators who have worked tirelessly to get these dogs nationally certified. I am fully committed to continuing the growth of the K-9 program. It has turned over significant results by getting contraband out of our state prison systems. I am excited to see what the future holds for this great program,” Allbaugh said.