Manassas Journal Messenger | Haymarket police get new drug sniffing, patrol dog

The Haymarket Police Department has a new four-legged member.

Due to a recent rise in drug traffic in Haymarket and on Interstate 66, which passes through the town limits, the department recently acquired Faroh, a 77-pound Dutch shepherd, to act as a drug-sniffer and patrol dog.

“He’s trained to search vehicles, luggage, lockers. You name it, he’ll search it,” said Police Chief James Roop.

Roop said there has been an influx of narcotics over the last couple of years, but isn’t sure why. He attributes it partly to Haymarket’s population increase.

“People think it’s a sleepy little town, and that stuff doesn’t happen here,” he said. “And you know it comes through 66.”

Roop said he has seen people hiding drugs in various spots in cars, behind light switches, and other places, and hopes Faroh will help sniff out these items.

He’ll also use the dog to help with traffic stops on I-66, and he has a remote that can open his police cruiser’s door to let Faroh out if Roop feels threatened during routine traffic stops.

The difference between a drug dog and a patrol dog is in the training, said Roop.

“Patrol dogs know how to look for people, whether they’re dead, missing or even if they have Alzheimer’s and walked off,” he said.

Faroh can also assist during building searches for people or narcotics.

Deterrent Solutions International, a Haymarket security firm, donated the dog to the department.

“The chief originally had only wanted a drug dog, but the dog was also suitable for patrol,” said Donald Levering, director of operations for the firm.

“Chief Roop decided having a dog that could do both would take care of it on two fronts.”

The 3-year-old working dog was originally imported as a pup to the United States from Holland, by Beck’s K9 Services in North Carolina. Faroh went to train for the U.S. Border Patrol in the Southwest, but Levering said this didn’t work out.

“We believe it was the heat and the stress of training, but the dog came down with hotspots,” said Levering. The Border Patrol returned Faroh to North Carolina, where he stayed until Levering called Beck’s to find a dog for Haymarket.

Faroh completed his drug-detection training with Deterrent Solutions, and then Roop took him to a five-week obedience and training course at Professional K-9 Services in Orange County. This gave Roop a chance to get used to working with Faroh, and vice versa.

“You have to learn why he’s indicating something,” said Roop. “Each dog has his own way to alert.”

Virginia’s police dog training standards draw heavily from federal agencies’ practices. Roop and Faroh completed the training program on Friday.

In addition to Haymarket duty, Roop will also make Faroh available to other law enforcement agencies in the area who don’t have K-9 units.

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