Pubdate: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
Source: Amherstburg Echo (CN ON)
Contact:  2002 The Amherstburg Echo
Fax: (519)736-8384
Author: Amanda Galbraith


Canada Customs Officer Ken Turner And His Partner Six Year Old Lab Rosco 
Paid A Visit To General Amherst

AMHERSTBURG - Man's best friend paid a visit to General Amherst last Wednesday.

In honour of Drug Awareness month Amherst hosted Canadian Customs Officer 
Ken Turner and his partner a six year old lab named Rosco. Both Rosco and 
Turner are part of the drug dog branch of Canadian Customs assigned to all 
border points in Essex County.

Rosco is originally from an Ottawa based Humane Society and has been 
working with Turner for four years. The dog is trained to find both drugs 
and weapons.

"We spend about two days a month trying to outwit the dog," said Turner. 
"We've yet to do it."

So far Rosco has had a very productive career with over 600 drug seizures, 
or about one every three days. Rosco has also found over 1 million dollars 
of cocaine in a cars wheel well and last February made a seizure of 7.7 
million dollars of marijuana coming across the border in a tractor-trailer 
from Mexico.

Rosco is an active aggressive drug dog, meaning upon detecting drugs or 
weapons he will begin attacking the source biting, scratching, and barking. 
The presentation began with Turner speaking plainly about the realities of 
his job and the consequences of drug abuse.

"They cause a lot of problems," said Turner. "Other than being illegal, 
dangerous, and addictive they are also behind most assaults and breaking 
and entering because it's so expensive."

Turner and Rosco also put on live demonstrations where Rosco amazed 
students by finding a contaminated razor blade sealed in a ziploc bag 
hidden under safety pads in the gymnasium.

Turner and Rosco were only one of many speakers who came out to speak to 
students. The assembly also featured speakers from Mother's Against Drunk 
Driving as well as Youth Service Canada.

The assembly is only one component of a month long campaign spearheaded by 
Student Council.

"The goal is to make student's aware of the consequences of their actions," 
said Student Council President Dave Ouellette.

Students have been exposed to a month long campaign with posters, daily 
announcements as well as several other assemblies directed to inform 
students of the reality of drug abuse.
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