The City of Johannesburg metro police have unveiled a new specialised K9 narcotics unit, set to wage war against drugs in the city.
The core functions of the unit will also include finding explosives, counterfeit goods, stopping hijackings and robbery. The unit will, however, focus on drug related crimes in hotspot areas during the first 100 days after its launch.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says by establishing the unit, the city is sending a clear message that law enforcement will relentlessly pursue drug dealers using the intelligence at its disposal.
At the same time, the city will also put in place drug prevention and treatment programmes and work closely with communities through awareness and education.
Mayor Mashaba said drug abuse is a scourge with serious implications for community safety.
“For years, our city has been plagued by crime and drugs. Lives have been lost, families have been broken, communities torn apart and people left broken-hearted and hopeless. As a parent, I have had enough of how drugs are destroying the lives of many of our young people. Communities have had enough and the city cannot ignore their plight.”
The JMPD looked at the best performing officers with the highest level of integrity to fill this K9 Narcotics Unit. The unit will also be capacitated with high calibre firearms and high performance vehicles.
A further 19 dogs have been purchased and currently undergoing intensive training and assessment in explosive and narcotics detection.
“Today we declare war on drugs and the drug lords. There will be no safe haven for drug lords in Johannesburg,” said Mayor Mashaba.
He encouraged communities to report drug dealers and drug dens.
“Communities see first-hand who the perpetrators are and I wish to appeal to all communities to come to us in confidence with information that we can act on to make our communities and city a safer environment. We need the whole of society – the parents, schools, police and communities need to work with us to take back our communities from drug dealers and help our children.”