Congressional Digest

Supreme Court Debates January 2013 No. 1 Vol. 16
Drug-Sniffing Dogs

Drug-Sniffing Dogs

Trained Canines and Police Searches

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Trained dogs are a staple of law enforcement units across the United States. Their highly developed sense of smell is at least 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s. Because of this ability, they’re often used during search-and-rescue operations to locate survivors, at airports to detect traces of explosives, and by police to track suspects and identify the presence of narcotics. But are trained dogs always reliable? And just because a police dog gives an “alert” to the presence of drugs from outside a vehicle, does that mean that police have probable cause to conduct a thorough search? These are…

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