Diesel: Correctional facility's best friend

March 28, 2011 3:39:59 PM PDT
Soon to be 6-year-old German shepherd Diesel is said to be drug-sniffing superstar inside the Camden County Correctional Facility.

Since he's been there, there hasn't been a single overdose.

"At one time, we had narcotics coming into the facility, since we added Diesel to our canine corps, we virtually catch everything that comes into the jail," Camden County Department of Corrections Warden Eric Taylor said.

His partner in crime fighting, Corrections Officer Louis Kaelin, says his four legged friend is 75 pounds of pure, well, diesel.

Together they put in an 8-hour day, running routine contraband detection drills, such as searching the cell spaces of more than 1,200 inmates.

In this case, man's best friend has also become the correctional facility's best drug defense.

"That's our secret weapon and that's what we use to keep our costs down. Diesel is probably worth two or three officers right now," Taylor said.

Because of the sensitive nature of their business, Officer Kaelin and Diesel didn't feel comfortable for Action News to come home with them and meet the rest of their family, but with two other pets, four kids and two parents, Diesel certainly has his role.

He's earned accolades and awards, medals and ribbons at competitions all over the nation. But at the end of the day, Diesel's just looking for a little down time.

"He's basically like any other dog. We leave here, we go home and he knows it time to kick back and unwind and hang out with the kids," Kaelin said.

But unlike most other dogs, this one has a day job, and knows it's back to business first thing in the morning.