The Herald Bulletin

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February 19, 2013

Court says police don't have to prove dog training

WASHINGTON —  The Supreme Court says police don't have to extensively document a drug-sniffing dog's reliability in the field to uphold its work in court.

The high court in a unanimous decision Tuesday overturned the Florida Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Aldo, a drug-sniffing police dog.

That lower court threw out drug evidence obtained against Clayton Harris during a 2006 traffic stop. Aldo alerted his officer to drugs used to make methamphetamine inside a truck. But two months later, Harris was stopped again, Aldo again alerted his officer to the presence of drugs but none was found.

The Florida court said in every case police have to bring records, including a log of performance in the field, to establish the dog's reliability in court. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

 

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