TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is hoping to keep illicit substances out of his jail through a new K-9 detention program.
The sheriff’s office acquired two new, drug-sniffing K-9s named Watson and Holmes who have completed over 200 hours in training to identify narcotics and prohibited substances.
According to the sheriff, the K-9s will be used during routine checks of visitors, incoming packages and pod searches at the jail.
There have been 172 reported illicit substances incidents within the jails since January compared to 289 in 2022. The sheriff says it’s not just inmates bringing narcotics in.
“We’ve arrested three of our employees over the last 90 days for bringing in,” Chronister said.
The sheriff says 46 inmates have been exposed to an illicit narcotic inside the jail since the year started. Those inmates had to be treated with Narcan.
Last month, authorities said a deputy at the Falkenberg Road Jail was hospitalized after coming in contact with fentanyl.
“I’m worried, I’m worried we’re going to have more and more exposures, in the last several months, I’ve seen the exposures to our employees go up.”