PELL CITY - Things could heat up by the end of next week for drug users and dealers in the area.
Two Chevrolet Tahoe's equipped with drug dogs and handlers should be working the streets next week.
"We hope to be in business next week," Police Chief Greg Turley said.
The mayor and council approved the purchase of the Tahoe's, which are slotted for drug interdiction efforts by the Police Department.
The Police Department's new drug interdiction program is called ACE, or Aggressive Criminal Enforcement program.
"If you have a drug problem, you need to start looking for a rehabilitation program or another place to live," Turley warned.
He said police officers Greg Surles and Richard Woods will start patrolling the streets with their multi-purpose drug dogs Brando and Xeno.
While most police departments are lucky to have one drug dog and handler on the roster, Pell City will have two.
"We're very fortunate to have two canine handlers," Turley said. "This entire program is the brainchild of these two officers. . They are spearheading a full-court press to attack the drug problem in our communities."
He said the dogs and handlers are ready to go, it is just a matter of getting the vehicles ready.
"Once we get the striping, emergency lights and cages installed, the Tahoe's are going to look really sharp," said Lt. Don Newton, public information officer for the Police Department.
Newton said the department's drug dogs are currently used on a limited basis because of the logistics of transporting them, but that will change soon.
"Having two dogs gives us 24 hour coverage," Turley added.
There could also be drug interdiction efforts along Interstate 20 in Pell City.
"They will work federal, state and local roads," Turley said. "Drugs don't just run down the interstate."
Newton said residents will see a lot of in-town drug interdiction efforts.
"They will move around the city - hot spots," Newton said. "So they will move around quite a bit. You may see them in one part of the city one day, and another part of the city the next.
Turley said the ACE program will allow the Police Department to tackle the drug problem in the city more effectively.
"Finally, all the pieces have come together," he said.
He said the dogs will not only track down drugs, but track down people.
Turley said the dogs can track lost people or suspects trying to elude authorities.
"When we get started on this, I think you'll see a drop in thefts, burglaries, drug overdoses and those kinds of things that go along with narcotics," Turley said.
All the information I have read on trained police dogs indicates that they can only be used for one purpose.
If they are trained to sniff for drugs then that is all they know how to do.
If they are trained to sniff for bombs and explosives then that is all they know how to do.
If they are trained to search for humans or cadavers then that is all they know how to do.
If anyone out there reading this knows of different information please pass it along to me. I'd like to call the cops on this one because I believe they are blowing smoke up the public's ass.