CANBERRA, Australia - When police sniffer dogs couldn't trace drugs, the Australian state police force soon discovered the reason: the cocaine sample used to train them was talcum powder. Seven dogs that had worked on drug searches over the past three months will need to be retrained, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans said Friday.
"I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice smelling noses at the moment, but they are in fact trained in detecting talcum powder so that means that they will have to be retrained in detecting cocaine," he told reporters.
"If there are any missing kids out there, we'd find them fairly quickly, I should think," he quipped.
Evans said police did not believe cocaine had been stolen and blamed an administrative error for the mix-up.
But internal investigations had been launched both within Victoria police and the Australian Federal Police which supplies illicit drug samples to the state force for training purposes.
The state opposition described the case as either corruption or incompetence and called for a public inquiry into the state force.