K-9 unit dogs trained to sniff out alcohol in prison


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services K-9 unit held a demonstration to show how their dogs sniff out alcohol made in prison.

According to the department, inmates making alcohol in prison happens often.

“Like any intoxicant or any drug inside our facility (it) creates chaos, can create violence, creates unrest,” said Robert Green, secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

The prison drink is made to have a high alcohol content and contains methanol or ethanol. If consumed, it can be deadly. It also causes inmates to be unruly and can make it difficult for guards to do their jobs.

“Methanol is so poisonous that 10 milliliters — a third of a shot glass — makes you blind. 30 milliliters kills you,” said K-9 Handler Stephanus Roling.

That’s where the K-9 units come in. They’re trained to find the alcohol that prisoners aren’t allowed to have.

“The dogs are trained to detect the odor of alcohol both methanol and ethanol,” Mark Flynn, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services K-9 Unit Commander, said.

Guided by a handler and sniffing out anything that has alcohol in it, the dogs are finding the alcohol every week.

“Every time we’re going into the institution we find alcohol. Every single time,” said Roling.

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