And in recent years, dozens of measures have been implemented to decrease overdose numbers and prevent drugs from making it on the street.
In Winchester, the police department works closely with residents to offer intervention and outreach programs.
But one of the more efficient tools within the department has four legs and an impressive nose.
His name is Sgt. Crockett. He’s the Winchester Police Department’s K-9. Crockett has been on the force for two years after a push from his partner Officer Kelly Webster to add a K-9 to the force.
Webster explained the department had a K-9 for several years before it retired. There was then a period the department went without one; however, Webster saw a need for the addition.
Officer Webster explained, “Drugs are pretty bad everywhere, and here is no exception. We go to overdose calls all the time, people dealing drugs in the parking lots all the time.”
Webster and Crockett have undergone hours of training to make sure Crockett’s primary weapon, his nose, is in tip-top shape.
“If you want to train a drug dog, you need drugs. So, we take drugs and we put them out and we put 5,6,7 scents out, but only one of them will be the drug. If he identifies it correctly, he gets a toy,” Webster continued.
Crockett’s nose is already proving to be an asset to the department. According to police records, Sgt. Crockett has sniffed out more than $25,000 worth of street drugs including close to 200 grams of cocaine.
The furry officer also placed 2nd in the Bluegrass Narcotics Trials where he was judged on the sniffing skills he uses every day to keep Winchester safe.