Farley Does the Trick

Citrus Heights, CA  |  By Elise Spleiss
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Detective Moranz and Farley are ready for duty. Photo courtesy Citrus Heights Police Department.

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Citrus Heights Police K9 to Serve Sacramento Region

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA  (MPG) – Police K9 Farley, newest addition to the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHPD), may be performing an invaluable service, keeping illegal drugs from reaching the streets of Sacramento and beyond, but it’s all just a game of fetch to him. 

Farley is a single-purpose narcotics detection canine. The two-year old Labrador Retriever was sworn into the CHPD by Police Chief Ron Lawrence at the December 13, 2018 city council meeting.  He was assigned to work with his handler / partner Detective Dave Moranz, a 28-year veteran of police work who has been with the CHPD since its inception in 2006.

Officers Farley and Moranz are a team, assigned to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Narcotics Enforcement and Criminal Investigations Task Force. During their intensive five-week training, Farley was trained to sniff out and alert Detective Moranz to the ingredients in four illegal narcotics; marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin. Farley received his official Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) certification on November 23, 2018.

After being on the job for only three months, Farley has been involved in the seizure of 40 pounds of marijuana, 9 grams of cocaine, 16 grams heroin, and 9 grams methamphetamine.

Farley begins searching for drugs only upon hearing the words, “peanut butter” spoken by his handler. As far as Farley is concerned, he is not looking for drugs, only his tennis ball. Working as a team, Farley detects the scent of the narcotic and alerts Detective Moranz by a behavioral change such as sitting close to the source of the odor of the controlled substances he is trained to alert to.  Moranz watches him while he is working an area and checks to validate what he has found. Farley is rewarded with a “good boy” and a few tosses of his tennis ball each time his mission is accomplished.

In an email, Police Chief Ron Lawrence expressed his pride in Farley’s accomplishments.  “Having Farley on our team has been a tremendous asset. He is not only an expert at sniffing out illegal drugs and helping to solve crimes, but he is also a huge hit within our community. Everyone seems to love Farley! In a very short period of time, Farley has already proven himself as a valuable member of our policing team.”

The team continues their training weekly at different locations with different trainers to keep their skills sharp. Moranz described to this reporter one search where a substance was hidden high on the wall inside a covered a key case. Farley heard his command, took off and ended up twirling in a circle towards the source of the odor of the controlled substance. He then clamped his paws onto the wall beneath the box and stared at it until rewarded for his work.

Of the five K9’s with the CHPD Farley is the only one certified for narcotics detection. K9’s Dax, Blitz, Luke and Jake are trained in officer protection, tracking and criminal apprehension.

Farley spends his off time with his handler, Dave Moranz.  Both are on-call to assist CHPD and USPIS wherever and whenever there is a need for a narcotics detection canine.  Farley has also been called out by CHPD to assist in searching for illegal narcotics and on other cases.