SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - With stronger drugs on the street, many police departments are taking extra precautions.
Now, Sikeston's Department of Public Safety is making sure even their four-legged officer has a backup plan.
"His sense of smell is millions of times greater than ours," Officer Frankie Adams said.
Adams said his canine partner, Levi, is brave.
"They'll go into harm's way without thinking. He's trained to protect himself, and or me," Adams said.
He's trained to sniff out drugs, and with increasingly potent opioids like fentanyl on the street, it could cause a dog to overdose or even die.
"So, if a dog sniffs it into its nose, he's going to get it faster than we can through our hands., and that's a concern for myself and other handlers," Adams said.
Officer Adams said he's working with an area vet to have Narcan, a drug that reverses an overdose, available in case Levi needs it.
Adams said if his K-9 does overdose Narcan would reverse the effects within seconds.
"It's the same as a human, but his weight is different from my size, so he's going to dial the dosage down for him. It's very safe. He's looked into it, and researched it," Adams said.
Adams said they are also changing their search tactics.
"We go into a passive alert, and our trainers now train the dogs to get as close as they can to the odor with their nose, but they sit down – they don't touch it with their paws," Adams said.
Officer Adams said the danger won't keep him and Levi from keeping Sikeston safe.
"It's sad, but unfortunately nowadays we have to be prepared for any situation that arises to take care of him so he can continue to take care of me, and the public," Adams said.