Snoqualmie police wants to implement narcotics K-9 program

Snoqualmie police wants to implement narcotics K-9 program

Preliminary request is next step toward new program.

The Snoqualmie Police Department is pushing for a narcotic detection program, one utilizing a police K-9 handler and a single-purpose drug detection dog.

The topic was expected to be broached at the Snoqualmie City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 28 (the meeting was held after the Valley Record went to press). The agenda item, heard during the public safety committee portion, requests implementation of the new program. There is no budgetary impact currently. The request is for approval in continuing research on a narcotics K-9 program for the department. It’s anticipated that any funding will be obtained from outside sources.

As it stands, the department relies on outside law enforcement agencies when there’s a suspected narcotics situation in the area. Outside dogs — trained to locate cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin in buildings, cars and outdoors — are brought in as response to the time-sensitive issues.

Sometimes King County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol are too busy or far away to respond, Snoqualmie Police Chief Perry Phipps said. That plays into why the Snoqualmie Police Department is proposing the new program, he said.

Another reason is increased education.

“Our focus isn’t necessarily an enforcement part, it’s one aspect of it,” Phipps said. “Our focus is on education.”

He hopes to increase the awareness of what drug trafficking behavior looks like, he added, through community interactions at schools or citizens on the street.

One idea is that ever so often the police dog handler would visit an elementary school to read a book or to have lunch, according to the staff report. The school visits could lead to open discussions in families over what the dog’s job is.

“If we can start the conversation early on, we may be able to speak [to] community members who are vulnerable to addictions prior to them trying drugs,” the staff report says. “Ultimately, if we can prevent one person from starting a drug addiction, the program would have been worth it.”

This increased awareness may lead to increased reports and the department hopes a better unified response to drug abuse. Currently there is no unified response of the police department and Snoqualmie Valley.

“The truth of the matter is we do need to have the resources to effectively address this issue and not because we have a huge drug problem in town,” Phipps said. “We have drugs in this town — every community in the nation probably has these issues. We just want to make sure we don’t end up being one of those communities, and we’re taking a proactive approach.”

Phipps said the only way to know what issues exist in Snoqualmie is to have an effective way to deal with them.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

NW Carpenters Union members strike in front of downtown Bellevue construction site (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Carpenters union strike interupts some prominent Eastside construction projects

Union representative says members are prepared to strike “as long as it takes.”

Map of proposed landfill expansion sites (screenshot from King County website)
Waste management expert knocks county’s plan to expand landfill

The waste management advocate said the decision to expand seems pre-determined despite assessment.

Participants in fundraiser previous event (courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association Washington State Chapter)
Walk To End Alzheimer’s returns to Eastside on Sept. 25

Alzheimer’s Association moves forward with plans for an in-person event.

file photo
State employees including first responders sue state over vaccine mandate

The lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 90 plaintiffs claims Inslee’s order is unconstitutional.

Masked spectators watch Mount Si’s Sept. 10 football game against Yelm High School. Photo Courtesy of Calder Productions.
Snoqualmie Valley schools deal with COVID cases, staffing shortages

Enrollment numbers rose as students in the Snoqualmie Valley School District successfully… Continue reading

North Bend City Council. 	Courtesy photo
North Bend limits restrictions on low-income housing

The North Bend City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Sept. 7 in… Continue reading

Cars lined up at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital on March 26, 2021, as people awaited their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as part of the hospital’s first mass vaccination event. File Photo contributed by Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.
Valley COVID case rates decrease, but remain high

COVID-19 case rates across the Snoqualmie Valley decreased in some areas over… Continue reading

Pixabay photo
Union carpenters to go on strike, expected to impact Eastside Microsoft projects

Members authorized strike after rejecting AGC offer for the fourth time.

Most Read