Law enforcement dogs these days can do some incredible things: sniffing out the chemicals used to start an arson fire, getting illegal drugs off our streets, or finding evidence in shootings and explosives investigations.
On this edition of Up to Date, host Steve Kraske meets three law enforcement dogs, and their handlers, to find out what it takes for a dog to become a key part of a law enforcement team.
Explosives detection canine Roxi has served in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the past seven years. She's trained to detect over 19,000 explosive components, including those found in spent ammunition casings and firearms.
Roxi and special agent canine handler Randy O'Dell travel the country doing explosives sweeps at high-profile sporting events, but more often, they can be found working in the regional ATF bureau. They assist law enforcement agencies in finding evidence of shootings and in explosives investigations. Last month, Roxi was featured on the front page of The Kansas City Star as she assisted the Kansas City Police Department in the search for evidence in the highway shooter investigation.
Kansas City Police Department canine Rosco is only two years old. Yet, he has been serving on the force with officer David Ferber since September 2013.
In one of his more memorable cases, Rosco located one-quarter pound of methamphetamine, one pound of marijuana, a handgun, and an undisclosed amount of cash, all inside a safe.
Tana, a 4 ½ year-old labrador, works with chief investigator Rose Razmiarek in the investigation division of the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal. An accelerant detection canine, she works cases throughout Kansas. Tana was raised by a military family in California to be an assistance dog. In September 2010, she switched service careers.
In multiple cases, Tana has found evidence resulting in convictions, including convictions against firefighters. Her most notable case is the recent conviction of a man for aggravated arson, murder, and child endangerment. While holding his child in his arms, the man set his house on fire, resulting in the death of his wife and severe burns to his child. Tana found evidence that led to an aggravated arson conviction.
When not investigating fires, Tana conducts demonstrations and promotes fire safety. She works with children during fire prevention week and is a regular at Kansas State Fair Emergency Preparedness Day events. At home, Tana enjoys playing fetch and spending time with her other animal family members.