Daisy looks like the smallest black Labrador you’ve ever seen, but don’t let that fool you. This shy 2.5-year-old pup is a highly trained K9 unit with the Texarkana Texas Police Department who uses her keen sense of smell to detect narcotics.
And thanks to the Arklatex 100 Club, Daisy has helped Officer Aaron Lewis keep more drugs off the streets in Texarkana.
“We had K9s retire in 2019 and in 2020, so we had no K9s on the Texas side,” Lewis said. “With COVID and the cyber attack on the city, it was really hard to come up with funds. The Arklatex 100 Club gave us the funds to purchase Daisy for the use of drug investigations. In the past, they’ve funded several projects for specialized equipment we needed. These are things that make us more effective and that we couldn’t get otherwise.”
Funds from the Arklatex 100 Club paid for the actual purchase of Daisy and for Lewis’s training as a handler, as well as his national certification.
“We’re a certified K9 team in narcotics,” Lewis said. “I’m also a professional canine decoy, so I travel around East Texas and train with a lot of K9 teams with patrol apprehension bite dogs.”
Lewis, who has been with the TTPD for six years, works in the special investigations unit and is on the SWAT team. His unit investigates drug-related crimes, prostitution and gambling. Daisy lives with Lewis and his family, and she rides to work with him every day in a patrol car designed with features that keep K9 units safe—a built-in cage, dual climate controls, sensors to notify Lewis if the car gets too hot, and a bailout for emergencies.
Lewis said the Supreme Court classifies K9s as a super-sensitive instrument.
“Daisy is able to detect very minute amounts of drugs in a large area,” he said.
Along with roadside vehicle sniffs, one of Daisy’s jobs is parcel interception. She and Lewis go to mailing facilities, where Daisy can detect narcotics that have been concealed as contraband.
“A lot of times they’re vacuum-sealed, shrink-wrapped, heat-sealed,” Lewis said. “She can detect the narcotics inside of that.”
Lewis said this helps them keep large amounts of narcotics out of our community, which keeps everyone safer.
He said Daisy is just one example of how the Arklatex 100 Club is making our community a better place.
“The work the 100 Club is doing is very important,” Lewis said. “Helping departments acquire equipment they would otherwise be unable to afford is incredibly helpful. Aside from the K9, they’re able to fund large projects that affect the entire department as a whole, from our SWAT team to our patrol guys to our specialized units. And the grants they provide for the families of fallen officers are such a help to those families during difficult times.”
To support the Arklatex 100 Club, visit thearklatex100club.org to join or make a donation today.