FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.



William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.
Careers

Video: U.S. Fish & Wildlife's K-9 Detectors

Federal wildlife smuggling enforcers formed a K-9 unit to halt illegal wildlife trafficking.

July 31, 2013  |  by - Also by this author

VIDEO: U.S. Fish & Wildlife's K-9 Detectors

Just as detector dogs can be trained to locate narcotics or bomb-making materials, they can also be trained to find exotic animals smuggled through U.S. airports.

With this in mind, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has launched a K-9 program to assist federal inspectors in the battle to combat trafficking of live animals and animal products.

Earlier this summer, the service trained four dogs—mostly Labrador retriever mixes named Butter, Lancer, Locket, and Viper—to roll out at high-volume cargo airports in Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, and Miami.

The agency, a division of the Department of the Interior, obtained the dogs from shelters, breeders and private owners. They should work for at least five years.

The first detector dog, Locket, began working at Los Angeles International Airport with her handler, Ray Hernandez. Locket has proven herself in training scenarios, Hernandez said.

"They see the world through their nose," Hernandez said. "Each item has its own chemical signature."

The detector dogs have been trained to sniff out elephant ivory, rhino horn, and several other scents.

Fish and Wildlife Service inspectors, including the K-9 handlers, don't have arrest powers or carry a duty pistol. They report to a Regional Agent in Charge who oversees field offices as a fully sworn federal agent.

The detector dogs should help increase inspection capabilities; they can sniff thousands of packages on an airport conveyor belt in the time it takes a human inspector to examine a hundred packages. And federal budget cuts have halted hiring of inspectors.

The agency spent about $90,000 for the initial training of the dogs and a 13-week program for the handlers. The cost for the program will be more than covered by asset forfeiture funds seized from smugglers, says Mike Osborn, a supervisory inspector in Los Angeles.

Editor's note: This special unit profile is the latest in a series of Web-exclusive career profiles on PoliceMag.com. Read more profiles here. Photos and video by Kareem Girgis.

Tags: Special Assignments, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, K-9 Units


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

"Unarmed" Suspects and Un-brained Media
Few if any pseudo-journalists or pseudo-pundits on the nightly news have bothered to...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine