UPDATE 9:39 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 - Oroville locals and businesses reportedly donated $15,000, enough to fully fund bringing Frankie back onto the Oroville Police Department.
OROVILLE, Calif.- The Oroville Police Department will soon take on a new member- a Labrador puppy who is now in training for a very specific assignment: drug detection in Oroville area schools.
Her name is Frankie, and her partner will be Officer Breck Wright.
Frankie is a young black lab that is training to detect drugs in and around the elementary schools in Oroville.
The school district has paid for three School Resource Officers this year and this "drug resource canine" is a part of that effort to protect our kids.
That's according to Officer Brent Wright, who's the Resource Officer assigned to Oroville High School.
Office Hutton is responsible for schools in the Thermalito area, Officer Sears has the elementary school district.
And all three of them will all be working with Frankie.
Frankie can run the playgrounds and clear the area of dangerous material left behind from whoever may be using the campuses when school isn't in session (there have been many recent incidents of overnight camping at the schools).
It would take Frankie 5 minutes to scan for drug paraphernalia in an area that would take a single officer hours.
They'll do random searches of campuses and playgrounds through the year and do demonstrations at the high school level - using Frankie as a deterrent.
Frankie is being trained by a local dog trainer Tiffany Damm at "For the Love of Dog" in Oroville.
The department needs $15,000 to start the program and the K-9 unit is largely donation based.
That will provide equipment costs and Frankie's certification expense.
So why a Labrador? Officer Wright says they're great drug detection dogs- and they're a little less scary than a sheppard breed; police don't have a need for a "bite dog" in the schools.
This is about student safety.
Frankie will also patrol city parks during the summertime.
The handlers will be all three School Resource Officers.
Dr. Dallas and Mandy Wentz, sister, are working to raise funds for the Oroville Police Department K9 Unit out of Dr. Dallas's new vet clinic, Three Hearts Veterinary Hospital.
They've set up a GoFundMe and are currently reaching out to the community for help.
Dogs have been used in law enforcement for at least 100 years, and they're hoping to have more of a presence in the Oroville Police Department.
Police dogs have so many uses; they can help officers in finding lost children and elderly citizens.
Because of their amazing sense of smell, they help with illegal drug detection and searches.
They cut down injuries to officers and suspects.
To help in the fundraising effort, click here.