It's National Puppy Day, and on this auspicious holiday we want to introduce you to a special puppy named Carl.
Carl is a police K9-in-training. When he grows up and graduates from school, he'll be used in school districts all across our area.
Chief Darin McAfee, Carl's owner, is the school resource officer for Sand Springs Schools. McAfee said recent violent events like the Sandy Hook and San Bernardino shootings led him to think about how he could make his community safer.
"It laid heavy on my heart, you know, 'What are you doing for your community?'" McAfee said. "That just kept coming to me."
He said Carl is the answer. McAfee's paying for the dog and his training out-of-pocket, which will run him upwards of $8,000.
He hopes the dog will reduce drug usage, especially on school properties, but also hopes his presence will make students feel more comfortable about interacting with police.
"The biggest thing in school districts, I feel, is you're building relationships," McAfee explains.
Carl's only 16 weeks old right now. Over the next two months, Carl's trainers at Canines Unlimited of Tulsa will start his training to identify marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
"We're laying the foundation for his bite work, and for his narcotics detection and his tracking," said Ted Summers, a trainer at Canines Unlimited.
Trainers demonstrated drug detection with an already-trained dog, Cash. After getting the command, it only took Cash about 30 seconds to find meth hidden in a locker. That's what Carl will be capable of in several months.
By fall, Carl will be able to sniff out drugs in school buildings and businesses — anyone who wants to use his services.