Homeland Security’s bomb sniffing dogs have new skill

Dogs will have "higher level" detection skills

Megan Cloherty | November 15, 2014 11:42 am

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WASHINGTON — The newest canine graduates going on duty with the Maryland State Police will help sniff out bombs before any explosives are set in place.

Most bomb-sniffing dogs are trained to search for explosives in a fixed location, but these four Labrador retrievers will be the first in the department trained to search people.

“We believe they’ll be able to alert police officers as that person is walking down the street going to the place they want to plant them,” says Greg Shipley with the Maryland State Police.

The dogs’ training takes officers’ ability to secure a large event, such as a concert, football game or outdoor celebration, to the next level, Shipley says.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Explosive Dog Detection Teams provided the dogs, training and equipment.

It took several years to develop the training in conjunction with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. But it only took them 12 weeks to train the dogs, who go on duty Friday.

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