GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Police Department has a specially trained K-9 that can quickly detect an explosive device. The dog’s keen sense of smell is an invaluable tool to help police track down anything suspicious.
“It’s a huge advantage if we had a bomb threat at a school," says Officer Jeff Dionne. "Without the dogs we’d never find it until it’s too late. The dogs can search the schools and pinpoint it.”
Officer Dionne says he and his partner, Atos, have been a team for four years.
During a recent training exercise at Joe Taylor Park, Atos immediately started searching for the explosive scent hidden by the officer.
“And that’s his alert letting me know there’s an explosive nearby: He put his nose by the cardboard, and that’s where the explosive is at, underneath there," says Officer Dionne.
Atos has found it in less than a minute.
“He’ll sit to tell me it’s there. And then he’ll wait for me to give him his toy because this is the only thing he wants," says Officer Dionne.
It’s serious business for police, but for the dog it’s just a game where the reward is a rubber ball.
Currently, Officer Dionne and Atos are the only bomb team at the GRPD.
The department plans on getting a new K-9 and handler in a couple of weeks.