Meet Golden Lizzie

Police get new drug dog, town to welcome ‘Lizzie'
By Janet DelTufo, Wickenburg Sun Assistant Editor, June 28, 2006



Wickenburg Police K9 Officer Kenny Lutkiewicz with Lizzie,the town's new narcotics dog.  

The Wickenburg Police Department has added a new member to its force. Her name is Lizzie, and she is a 2-year-old Golden Retriever narcotics patrol dog.

Lizzie is being handled by K9 Officer Kenny Lutkiewicz, and she has been living with him and his family for nearly a year. Together, Lutkiewicz and Lizzie attended two months of training last year between October and December at the Arizona Department of Corrections Academy in Tucson.

Lizzie graduated and received her narcotics certification, a requirement by the courts in order to prove she is capable of performing her duties. She has been working on the force with Lutkiewicz since she graduated in December.

“I am enjoying my new position, and I like working with Lizzie,” Lutkiewicz said. “It is providing me a good opportunity for a different venue of police work.”

Lutkiewicz said he is required to maintain Lizzie's training, and he works with her on her alert skills four hours every week. She is certified to detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. She can sniff objects, buildings and vehicles.

Lizzie was purchased from a vendor in Phoenix, who specializes in training narcotics dogs. She is very social and energetic.

“She is also a very well-trained narcotics dog,” Lutkiewicz said. “Her natural instinct produces a high work drive.”

There are plans to eventually bring Lizzie to locations such as schools for demonstrations. This is something that Taylor, the town's former narcotics dog, did before he “retired” and passed away thereafter.

Lizzie is only now being introduced to the public because she has been primarily working the graveyard shift, and it was difficult to get an appointment with her. However, her shift could change at any time.


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