LINCOLN, Maine — Mo is a big, bounding, happy and smart German shepherd that Hank Dusenbery wants people to call upon if they suspect someone is on drugs.

The Lincoln-based licensed private investigator and retired Lincoln police chief and state trooper has trained the 20-month-old Mo with state police and other professional law enforcement dog handlers as part of Dusenbery’s effort to create what might be Maine’s first drug dog for hire.

“My intent is to hire him to businesses, schools, or individuals who want to ensure that they have a drug-free environment,” Dusenbery said Sunday. “People who would have an idea of some places they’d like to make drug free, whether a locker room, lockers in a school, or a child’s bedroom, could do it with Mo.”

State police are among several agencies that use dogs to detect drugs, help find people or control crowds as part of their law enforcement efforts, but Dusenbery said his agency, Dusenbery Special Investigations of Lincoln, will stop well short of enforcing the law with Mo — or of violating the law, for that matter.

“Nothing we are doing will be of legal consequence,” Dusenbery said. “I pass the dog through, let him do his scenting. If he makes an indication of drugs in a specific area, then I am done. Then it is up to the client to do whatever they want to do with it.”

“I am done before there is even any contraband or drugs found. I tell them where the contraband is and they drill the well,” Dusenbery added.

The 63-year-old Dusenbery, who has been a self-employed detective for almost five years, usually works with attorneys in case preparation, witness finding, statements reviews and in testifying on firearms and use of force issues as a state- and federal court-certified expert witness.

Dusenbery most recently made the news as a private investigator with his work helping clear and get reinstated a Milo police sergeant who had been charged with domestic violence in a case that was dismissed in mid-2011. Dusenbery also worked on the Holly Boutilier homicide case in late 2010 on behalf of defense attorney Richard Hartley of Bangor.

He hit upon the idea of training a dog for narcotics detection as a way to help business owners and parents cope with the enormous stresses of drug addiction among their workers and children, he said.

Law enforcement agencies “have dogs that are so busy that they find it hard to dedicate time to these kinds of critical issues,” Dusenbery said. “When I was police chief, it took almost eight months to get a dog into Lincoln’s schools with the superintendent and principal pushing for it.”

Dusenbery said he doesn’t know of any private investigators in Maine that employ dogs in this manner. Telephone calls to Kevin J. Surette, a private investigator and president of the Maine Licensed Private Investigator’s Association were not immediately returned Sunday night.

Anyone interested in employing Mo can call Dusenbery at 290-1531. Dusenbery will soon have a promotional videotape available that will extol the dog’s abilities and promises that anyone who employs his purebred associate won’t find a mean bone in Mo’s body — just a smart nose.

“He has not had any aggression training at all, just basic obedience,” Dusenbery said. “When he’s not working, he’s just a house pet playing with the grandkids.”


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