Officers with drug-detecting dogs could be patrolling the territory’s streets and public beaches by the end of the month, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

The force will acquire four new dogs for the K-9 unit. Three of the dogs will be arriving this month, and the RCIPS is in the process of sourcing one more, the police said in response to Cayman Compass inquiries.

The RCIPS is also training a new K-9 officer, and hopes to add one more in the near future.

“These officers will then join our current K-9 officers on patrol duties once their training is complete,” said RCIPS Information Officer Mikhail Campbell. “I don’t have an exact time frame for this, but it should be within a few weeks.”

RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne first announced at a West Bay community meeting in late January that officers with drug dogs would be patrolling beaches.

His announcement about the drug dogs came in response to a remark by West Bay MLA Tara Rivers, who lamented the “really, really offensive smell of marijuana use” at Seven Mile Beach and other public beaches.

“I know, because I’ve experienced it personally,” she said at the meeting.

Mr. Byrne said his department has tried covert officers on the beaches in the past, but have had limited success. But drug dogs can be hugely effective.

The commissioner said at the time that the RCIPS is in the “final stages” of purchasing drug-detecting dogs, and they should be in use in one or two months.

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