HONOLULU (KHON2) — Canines keep Hawaii safe by tracking for explosives, missing people, and critical evidence. They are important to the community as they have specific abilities like heightened senses to help solve cases.
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HPD, airport TSA, and HFD shared what the dogs do at each department.
HPD has seven explosive detection and patrol certified dogs as well as three specialty tracking and cadaver dogs. Brad Heatherly, sergeant with the HPD canine’s unit, said they have a missing persons dog “which is being donated by Friends of the Missing Child Center of Hawaii, that’s going to be our tracking dog”.
HPD said a typical day for these dogs is training. They have an area to practice explosive detection, obedience training on an obstacle course, and training bite work.
Detecting explosives is also what TSA canines specialize in.
The most common place people will see these canines is at the airport departing the airport. The TSA spokesman said “we have dogs that are specially trained to work in and around travelers in a busy transportation environment. and they are focused on one thing and one thing only. That is detecting explosive or explosive components.”
TSA canines train for 12 weeks in Texas and then have additional training to get familiar with the airport they will be working at. They also aren’t just limited to the airports here in Hawaii.
For an organization having a special event, whether it is a marathon or other big event, a TSA dog could be considered.
“They want to make sure that’s a safe environment for the people who are attending or participating, they might invite a TSA dog to come and be a part of the security function,” said TSA spokesman Lorie Dankers
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HFD also has a new canine named Eve to detect tiny traces of gasoline at fire investigation scenes. Eve is also the only certified arson dog in the state of Hawaii. Click here for more information about the State Farm Arson Dog program.