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The Champion

April 2016 , Page 34 

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Fraud on the Courts — No Bones About It! - A Treat for Prosecutors (and Police K-9’s)

By Jeff Weiner and Diego Weiner

Editor’s Note: For more in-depth discussion of case law and practical methods of challenging K-9 searches, see Jeff Weiner, Police, K-9’s, and the Constitution: What Every Lawyer and Judge Should Know, The Champion, April 2012 at 22.

“Sit!” “Stay!” “Give me your paw!” People who have owned a dog or have taught a dog to do a trick know that it is not difficult to get a dog to do what they want if a reward or a treat is involved (usually food or a toy) for the dog.

The police know it, too. A police K-9 “alert” is, essentially, a trick. The dog performs the action it has been trained to produce and is rewarded with praise and a treat.

Every day, police dog handlers and their police K-9’s participate in scenarios such as the following: an officer or trooper makes an (often questionable) traffic stop and decides he wants to search the vehicle. But he needs probable cause or consent to effectuate the search. The law in this regard is frustrating for officers because it prohi

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