Cocaine and police dogs were used by a fourth-grader in her science project. Emma Bartelt titled her project “Drug Sniffing Dogs.”
Emma’s father, Douglas Bartelt, is a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Department Narcotics Unit. Emma, age 10, was inspired by her father’s work and asked him to help her with her project.
The Miami-Dade police department provided three dogs from their canine unit and 28 grams of cocaine. Detective Bartelt supervised the project and did not allow his daughter to handle the cocaine.
As reported by The Miami Herald, John Schuster, spokesman for Miami-Dade County public schools discusses their decision to allow cocaine to be used in the project:
“The student’s science project involved a very unusual set of circumstances, including having a parent who is a well-respected police detective with experience in training dogs that sniff for illegal substances. From our understanding, the parent was the only person involved in working directly with the dogs and the hidden substances, which took place at a police training facility.”
Emma’s experiment was an effort to determine which of the three police dogs would find the cocaine first. Twenty-eight grams of cocaine was placed in a metal box in a room and a dog was released while Emma kept track of how long it took him to find the drugs. This was done once for each dog.
Emma won first prize at the Coral Gables Preparatory academy and honorable mention at another science fair held at Miami-Dade College according to Daily News. Franky, a chocolate Lab won the contest of the fastest dog to find the cocaine. He was able to find the drugs in 43 seconds.