Police Dog Trained to Sniff Out Crime

Some officers of the law have more than a badge and a pair of handcuffs to aid them on duty. Some have a nose for sniffing out crime.

Brock, a 9-year-old Pasadena Police Department canine, is trained to lay down the law, whether by uncovering explosives or chasing down criminals.

Brock serves as a patrol and bomb detection dog, according to handler Tom Brown. Brock’s training was put to the test last January, when he and Brown responded to a possible shooting and bomb scare at Citrus College.

"We got information that a gentleman was on campus who wanted to shoot some people, and that he also had a prior background in explosives," Brown said.

During the incident, Brock alerted police officers to the suspect’s car. Though the object that captured Brock’s attention was not a bomb, but a tire deflator, he did discover a number of AR-15 magazines. Brown said the odor from the magazines transferred over to the tire deflator.

Brown, a 15-year veteran of the Pasadena PD Canine Unit, trained Brock. The dog lives at home with Brown, and is FBI- and ATF-certified.

Brown said canines like Brock are trained for their noses and their bites. Brock is trained to bite suspects and release them on cue.

Police canines are trained by agitators, such as Pasadena police officer Brian Petrella, who don thick protective suits to keep them safe as dogs pounce on and bite them.

"It is very intense for those few seconds," Petrella said.

Brown said the rough training pays off.

“For us, it’s going out there with somebody who has confidence in what you’re going to do,” Brown said.

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