New MBPD K-9 team begins making impact on area drug problem

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department hopes it can make a bigger impact on the fight against drugs with its newest K-9 officer.

Daisy is a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois bred and trained in Holland, who now works alongside Myrtle Beach PFC. Shon McCluskey. The two recently finished 4 weeks of training in Georgia before officially being deployed for duty on the Grand Strand.

“When you train the dog, that’s the dog playing,” McCluskey explained. “When you have a dog and a handler that work well together, they have to develop that relationship to be able to go out an do the job effectively.”

Since starting work about two months ago, McCluskey has deployed Daisy more than 15 times on a wide variety of calls. While she’s trained to sniff out drugs, she can also be used for things like vehicle searches or to track down a missing person or suspect.

“It seems lately, the more dangerous drugs are becoming more popular on the streets, and heroin seems to be one of the big issues we’ve had lately,” McCluskey said.

We had a chance to see the newest K-9 team in action on a Friday night. Daisy made a positive hit on the first traffic stop she was called to. McCluskey said she picked up the scent of marijuana shake in a car, but it wasn’t enough substance to warrant charges.

We watched Daisy deploy twice in less than 3 hours and with her wide range of use, we asked if the number of K-9 calls is going up.

“It does feel like we’re deploying them more often,” he noted. “Seems like when you stop a car, some of the suspicious activity seems to be elevated.”

On Tuesday, McCluskey says Daisy made her first big find – sniffing out heroin and meth on a deployment. McClusky says Daisy’s impact is just beginning.

Daisy and McCluskey join three other K-9/handler teams already working in the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

From January 2015 to December 13, 2016, statistics given to News13 show the unit has been deployed more than 530 times on several different types of calls. It’s helped find more than 2 kilograms of heroin, nearly 1.5 kilograms of marijuana, ecstasy, crack and meth.

The addition of Daisy and McCluskey will also take some pressure off the department’s other K-9 teams. McCluskey told News13 with the addition of Daisy, the department now has a K9 officer available to cover day and night shifts. Previously if an emergency happened or a track was needed and a K-9 team was not on duty, he says they would have to be called in to work.

“It’s an effort and we’re doing the best we can to try and limit the problem here,” McCluskey said.

In between calls, McCluskey and Daisy are required to complete at least 4 hours of training each week.