Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

After consultations with the District Attorney’s Office of the Borough of West Chester and the administration of West Chester University, the Department of Public Safety decided to elicit canine officer assistance in order to further enforce the drug laws on campus.
Piper, a 20-month-old black Labrador Receiver female, is a detective dog who specializes in drug detection, missing persons searches and crime prevention, according to Chief Michael Bicking of the WCU Public Safety.

To actually gain the permission to have Piper on campus, Sergeant Detective Matt Paris, who was at the time working with the investigative unit at the DA, stated the interest of having a dog on campus to the D.A.

In addition to a typical investigation of drugs requiring a reasonable cause on the officer’s part to search–and the person in question can either consent or a search warrant is implemented–the results of the possible arrest entail the confiscation of any drugs present and money as a result of purchasing/selling.

The Borough of West Chester Police has been forfeiting money to the DA “to fight drug crimes,” according to Bicking, for years.

On Saturday, Aug. 25, an instance occurred at Sanderson Residence Hall in which the suspects who were in a car possessed drugs; this, Paris said, was a primary example of how investigation works.

After some investigation, the DA consented to provide funds from the forfeitures to purchase Piper.

“I think it’s [a campus drug problem] similar to any small town,” Bicking said. “I don’t believe that [the] drug problem is any better or any worse than anyone else’s in a small town with a college in it .

Although the drug problem here at WCU has not worsened, according to Bicking, Piper’s role is to complete the job of discovering illegal drugs on campus that are unable to be found by human officers–in other words, finding drugs that are odorless, such as heroin and cocaine.

Mainly, according to Paris, officers often find prescriptive drugs.

Similar to any investigation, there must be a reasonable suspicion before searching. Therefore, Piper will assist the officers in a search.

To condition her ability, who actually lives with Paris and his family, is given tests by Paris each day in detecting drugs.

According to Paris, sometime in the near future Public Safety would like have floor meetings in the residence halls involving approximately five boxes–four of which do not contain drugs–and allowing the residents to see that Piper can distinguish which box contains the illegal drugs.

The vetinary care for Piper has been donated according to Bicking.

Piper, according to Bicking, is very friendly and “loves everybody.

In the near future, Piper will receive a Police canine badge that will be presented by the D.A., and President Madeleiene Wing-Adler in a formal setting.

“Police are trying their best to enforce drug laws,” Bicking said.

“Bottom line is illegal drugs are in our society, and it’s just a reality of life.

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