LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico Police Department’s K9 Unit needed a reset after marijuana was legalized in the state. They needed new dogs that don’t key in on pot.

Meet Canines Loki and Drax. They’re now part of the Lovington Police Department. Back in late 2021, the previous K9 Unit was shut down after marijuana was legalized in the state because the three K9s were trained to detect marijuana.

“Our two new dogs now have been trained to detect narcotics but obviously not marijuana,” said Lovington Police Chief David Miranda.

Loki and Drax received their four-week training in Indiana. During their time there, they bonded with their handler. The $20,000 cost to buy and train the dogs was made possible by city and state funding along with private donations.

“I just want to thank our private citizens who reached out to help fund the program. In terms, whether it was to buy dog food or other expenses, the state funding we acquired. I’m very happy we were able to re-establish this program,” said Miranda.

Now that the K9s are fully trained, they have different work shifts and different duties throughout the city of 11,000. Loki has slowly been introduced to schools in the district.

“K9s are very useful in high school parking lots because, unfortunately, some students bring things they shouldn’t to school, and since in a school parking lot that student has no expectation of privacy, so those dogs can be running around the cars in the parking lot,” said Miranda.

One of the canines came from the Hobbs Police Department where his handler use to work.