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School of Law

Evidence class gets visit from Winston-Salem K-9 unit
Ranger, an 8-year-old Czech Shepherd, showed off his skills Tuesday, Oct. 23 during Professor Steve Friedland's Evidence class.

Lieutenant C.A. Lowder and Corporal Christa Long of the Winston-Salem Police Department visited the class to discuss their work with Ranger and other dogs in the city's K-9 unit. Long hid 2 bags of marijuana behind a recycling bin in Room 207, then brought Ranger into the room. K-9 dogs are trained to respond to specific commands from their handler, and Ranger located the hidden marijuana within a few seconds. Dogs alert their handler to the presence of the odor of narcotics by scratching or pawing at the scent, or by sitting down next to it. 

Long is Ranger's handler and takes the dog home with her when the pair are off-duty. Dogs and handlers are certified in K-9 work after undergoing 400 hours of classroom and field instruction, and dogs maintain certification by performing 16 hours of training each month.

Students got practical experience during the class, learning the rules of evidence presentation in court and questioning Lowder and Long about their work as K-9 handlers as witnesses in a mock trial setting.