Meet K-9 Match; first GPDPS drug dog

Grants Pass, Ore. —  A local law enforcement agency has added a new member to its squad, and he’s all about sniffing out crime. It was all made possible by a couple of generous Grants Pass donors.

Grants Pass resident Nancy DeAmicis passed away in 2015. Before her death, she and her husband decided to donate money to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety. She said she loved dogs, but hated drugs. With that formula in mind, she donated enough money for police to get K-9 Match.

Don’t be fooled by his cute looks – this is a working dog, trained to sniff for the odor of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.

“Match is a good, independent search, a very, very smart dog, works a lot on his own. Real good, and then I just kind of clean up what he’s doing, areas he’s missed,” said Ofc. George Gasperson, K-9 Match’s handler.

He said his dog helps find things, officers may miss on-scene.

“He’s a great tool, when we’re looking for narcotics, controlled substances that are illegal and he’ll show me right where they’re at,” Ofc. Gasperson said.

Match is GPDPS’s first-ever drug sniffing dog.

“When he’s searching, you can hear his nose working, his body’s moving, he’s excited and then it comes to that odor he’s trained to find. He’ll do a stop-focus, and then he’ll do a sit,” Ofc. Gasperson said.

K-9 Match, along with the training field, is all thanks to Vince and Nancy DeAmicis.

“Donated some money in order for us to buy a drug dog, select a handler,” said Lt. Todd Moran, GPDPS.

The two passed away years ago, but not before donating funds to help the GPDPS Canine Center.

“She was kind of fed up always hearing about the drugs affecting our streets and our community,” Lt. Moran said.

Their donation – combining their love for dogs, with their hate for drugs.

“They’re very avid dog lovers, animal activists and they also did not like the influence of drugs in our community,” Lt. Moran said.

Tuesday night, GPDPS said K-9 Match and his handler went on a deployment where he located 0.5 ounce of heroin, and 1.5 grams of cocaine during a traffic stop. Leading police to find a stolen gun, $1,500 in cash and evidence of distribution of narcotics.

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