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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Dallas Introduces First Dog for Detecting Electronic Storage Devices

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Remi, first-ever electronic-storage-detection dog in North Texas. | Image by WFAA

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Remi is an intelligent new addition to the Dallas Police Department: the first-ever electronic-storage-detection dog in North Texas and has been trained to sniff out any electronic storage device, such as cell phones, laptops, hard drives, and tablets.

Remi can smell the chemicals in the machines and see their location, even if they have been hidden. Remi was bred to aid those who suffer from seizures and other medical problems but can also assist law enforcement in locating contraband like illegal drugs, weapons, and child pornography.

Dogs like Remi search for two main compounds: hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone (HPK) and triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO).

The HPK compound is a by-product of certain plastics and is classified as a hazardous pollutant. It was found to be present on CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and floppy disks in varying levels — even those that were new or previously unused.

The compound TPPO coats circuit boards in hard drives, microSD cards, and other small-scale storage devices. These K9s can detect and find electronics that have been hidden or disposed of by criminals.

She has been trained to detect laptops, cell phones, and SD cards that may be used to hide child pornography. Remi and her handler are assigned to the Dallas PD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit. According to the Dallas Police Department, she and her handler can also respond across all of North Texas if they are needed.

“Think about a microSD card that’s as big as your pinky fingernail,” Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department canine trainer Todd Jordan said. “That’s what the dog is finding. It would be almost impossible for investigators.”

The dogs are trained to sniff out these items among locations where they are frequent, like in purses and baggage. They are typically trained on the job by their handlers.

The K-9 unit is an integral part of the police force. The team trains dogs in various tasks, including bomb and drug detection and assisting police in catching suspects. Remi was not only trained to detect electronic devices, but she is also set to be a support canine for the Dallas Police Department.

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